User talk:Rednblu/Archive2003 07 01To2004 10 30

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Contents

Directory[edit]

.

Try these links --JJ

Rodney Stark

Open-source religion



Which space? User space?[edit]

I think you want User talk:68.162.218.43 not Talk:68.162.218.43

Yes, thanks. My mistake. I was just now looking at the documentation trying to figure out how to delete the Talk:68.162.218.43 version. The documentation is great, incidentally, so I can probably figure it out. But I will ask if I find a blind alley.
By the way, great work in getting the system back up--and keeping us all "in touch" when the database was down. Rednblu 15:54 28 Jul 2003 (UTC)

New items[edit]

By site[edit]

  • Eugene
  • Denver

Marker[edit]

Hi, what use are the markers you sometimes insert for? Not that it would disturb me, it just makes me curious and I saw it several times already and can't figure out what it's good for. -- JeLuF 08:02, 29 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Good day, Je. I use the markers to indicate where in the stack I did something. I usually put a number on the marker which matches a number in my log book. It is like putting a bookmark in a book. How is everything going? I won't be able to answer in a while because I will be at a conference. Have fun. Talk to you when I get back. Rednblu 09:15, 29 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Democritus[edit]

Hi,

on atomism you wrote:

Many scholars attribute the large loss of Democritus's writings to the bans that various organizations of the Church made against copying Democritus's writings for the next generations to read.

As reference you cite The Atomists: Leucippus and Democritus. But I did not find any evidence for the above claim in the book (admittedly after only cursory reading). Could you give me an exact page reference?—Eloquence

Certainly. Thanks for your interest. Yes. The link is in one of Taylor's sources in a footnote. Let me find it for you. I won't be back to my office though until the middle of September. Rednblu 05:05, 18 Aug 2003 (UTC)
The sooner you can help the better -- the library will want the book back soon. If you could give me any pointers where to find the footnote (which chapter/topic), that would also be good.—Eloquence 11:33, Aug 18, 2003 (UTC)

"Speak in anger and you'll give the greatest speech you'll ever regret." [1]

The above quote is from "When strangling someone is not an option" by a certain Dr. Freeman. --Uncle Ed 15:22, 27 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Thank you, Uncle Ed. I agree with everything you say. [2] and [3]

I have a serious proposal. Would you be willing to stop editing the creationism article AND posting on its talk page for a while? This would give the others a chance to make some progress, I think.

I am not asking for a binding promise, of course, but I think if you "butted out" for a while you might find the article taking shape faster without your help than with it.

Please consider giving this experiment a try. Thanks. --Uncle Ed 14:50, 29 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Yes. My thoughts, exactly. You are great, my friend. Just this brief note to let you know I read and understood your message. Rednblu 20:59, 31 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Democritus[edit]

Any news regarding the Democritus statement I asked about above? I'll have to to return the book in a week and still haven't found the footnote.—Eloquence 22:55, Oct 2, 2003 (UTC)

Remarks in Talk:Religion[edit]

Might I suggest you indent your suggested outline of topics in Talk:Religion#Discussion of Re-organization of Religion to be lined up with the rest of your comment?

Here's what I mean:

<begin (altered) quote>

Great idea. Could we organize around the various aspects of religion while going through the above religion and non-religion varieties? For example, all of the above listed religions have their own page already. So the religion page could be about the themes that run through the above list. The topics might be as follows. And the content of the current page would be scattered through the following topics.
  • Dimensions of transcendence; the supernatural
  • Developing a relationship with the transcendent dimension
  • Variations of privilege (such as being "saved" or "enlightened")
  • Initiation; becoming one of the privileged
  • Themes of Problem-solving
    • Theodicy; Why is there evil and suffering?
    • What does freedom mean?
    • Revelation
  • Historical influences of religion
  • Genetic influences on religion; Patriarchy; Parochialism
  • Justifications of religion
  • Rejections of religion
  • References
The above would be an outline and not a list. And I offer the above words as only a reply to your great idea, Mkm. Rednblu 03:28, 14 Aug 2003 (UTC)

<end (altered) quote>

That way the flow of the conversation would be slightly more apparent (I think). - dcljr 04:24, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Done! Good idea! Thanks! --Rednblu 05:38, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

evolutionism[edit]

Although it is only a paragraph long, I do believe that it is a useful article because it does point to several articles in turn. Otherwise, it should be. If you look at special:whatlinkshere/evolutionism, Wikipedia:Redirects with possibilities links there. Peope have mentioned a request for an "evolution (religion)" page, and I think that that is it. We can always change it to a redirect back to evolution, but I'd rather have a vote somewhere. Cheers, Dunc_Harris| 09:05, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

It's pretty much complete, I have asked on usenet for some information because I think it was used at one of the trials. I think even in its present state it would survive WP:VFD, it is effectively a bit of a disambiguation page, a bit of a dicdef. and you may list it there if you wish to obtain other POVs; the end is not deletion but a redirect to evolution or evolution (disambiguation). Dunc_Harris| 16:09, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

how to move text[edit]

Please don't cut and paste entire articles from one page to another. It breaks the history, and make it difficult or impossible to attribute text to its author. Moving articles while keeping the history intact is why we have the "move" function. I will fix the Pedro/Peter mess. - Nunh-huh 07:15, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Please don't "undo" anything. The article is at Pedro now, with the redirects fixed. If the concensus is that it belongs at "Peter" it can be moved back properly. - Nunh-huh 07:23, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I replied on my talk page. -- Jao 09:18, Aug 13, 2004 (UTC)

What are you doing on the religion page?[edit]

Why are you even interested if you are an unbeliever? If you believe in evolution, you should stay on Evolution 63.231.25.181 04:46, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Trio Sonatas[edit]

Thanks, good compromise. -- orthogonal 06:52, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)

[Reply copied as a coutesy. -- orthogonal 07:02, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)]

You are generous. I wasn't seeing the page clearly. I missed the little important fact that the signature that I copied in from the History file was the same as the signature on the vote that followed the insightful comment. ---Rednblu 06:59, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)
It happens -- especially when those votes get long, as when certain garrulous people make lengthy, multi-paragraph arguments. :) -- orthogonal 07:02, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Great Seal of the Realm[edit]

I do not understand why you moved my comment on a page that describes a physical object to the page of the man charged with the keeping of that object.. Especially since the comment, now sans context, makes no sense. Elde 07:33, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for reverting your changes. Adding an actual article on the Great Seal is in my to-do list. Elde 22:40, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)


Hello![edit]

You're certainly a very interesting person. :-) I read the section on your user page on evolution.

I had an interesting discussion with (possibly) a scientism-ist at Talk:Scientific_skepticism (see my rant near the end of the page) many moons ago, which is the closest I can offer in comparison I'm afraid.

Have fun, but do take it easy on folks who are less skilled at philosophy than you are. You'll find that most probably actually agree with you, if you go slow and put things in plain english.

Have a great day! Kim Bruning 21:05, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)


Wikipedia:Votes_for_deletion/Creationism_and_macroevolution[edit]

Q: EEK! Did I just censor a comment of yours?

A: nope, not really, but I thought you might like to be granted a chance to rethink for maybe half a day to a day or so before responding. It doesn't help to get angry at folks eh? If you're still THAT mad after half a day, feel free to reinstate your comment of course :-)

Hmm, well, on second thought, while I certainly won't stop you from commenting, I think the errr ...quality... of the comment you were responding to speaks for itself. No need to lower yourself to even below that level, in my humblest of opinions. If you absolutely must rebut, try and just keep it to the point and factual. That way you'll come off looking squeeky clean.

In any case, you get a second shot at it now. Do your best! :-)

Have a cool day! Kim Bruning 22:47, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Sorry Sorry Sorry! I really don't mean to censor, more like keeping two people who are about to have at it apart for a bit, so you have time to cool off. DO please take time to consider before putting that comment back, that's all I'm asking. You've managed to win my respect, it'd kind of suck if you got banned for starting fights right after :-) Kim Bruning 23:01, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Just to be sure (in case you're not familiar with this trick yet), all I did was revert your edit. You can simply undo this by reverting the revert :-) Effectively this way, I've introduced a delay between your making the comment and when it shows up to people reading, and you're the person who is entirely in control of that timing. No more and no less than that. It seemed prudent to do that here. (and there's a wikipedia protopolicy which suggests that doing this kind of thing might sometimes be wise) Kim Bruning 23:18, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

NPOV[edit]

You have an uncommon mastery of NPOV. I hope you stay around long and spread the Wiki word. Too many of us have our own private NPOV POV, which is about the only POV on Wikipedia that is NOT allowed. How's that for a rhetorical pretzel? Enjoy the snack. Tom 17:34, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Talk:Human[edit]

Rednblu, I am sorry to be pitted against you, as it would seem, in that article. My first impression was that you are confused and/or bigoted, but judging from your other edits, I can tell that you are intelligent and well-meaning. I just still don't think that your (assumed?) stance on Human is very helpful or lucid. But I do hope that I do not come across as hostile, and that at the outcome of this will be a true compromise to the good of WP. dab 13:43, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Troubling VfD Expln'n[edit]

You voted thusly on VfD, or rather Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/List of activists:

  • Delete. Out of scope. This is a bad rocket design. Ground at once! It will take the whole continent of Africa with it. ---Rednblu 23:45, 16 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I think the black-American identity of the only person on the list sets a context where the Africa reference is likely to be perceived as a personal or racial taunt; i hope you'll amend your comment. --Jerzy(t) 01:19, 2004 Sep 17 (UTC)

Nice save, IMO! [grin] --Jerzy(t) 06:15, 2004 Sep 17 (UTC)

Tom Smith[edit]

Why do you want to speedy delete Tom Smith? It is a valid disambiguation page. -- Chuq 02:29, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

What does Tom Smith (filker) have to do with User:QIM? The article was written by SarekOfVulcan, not QIM. Angela. 02:55, Sep 17, 2004 (UTC)

Good question Chuq. Rednblu is a skeptic with a political ax to grind here at Wikipedia. He's been all over me. User:QIM

Princeton Project 55[edit]

Thank you for adding the listing to VfD for me. Comparing your edit with mine, I don't see any difference. When I added it, the entry kept getting appended to the end of Chris' comment for Dr. Michael M. Krop High School, the preceeding listing at the time. I'm still not sure what the problem was, but thank you for fixing it.  :-) SWAdair | Talk 07:15, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Dr. Michael M. Krop High School[edit]

I am still working on it, but you can now check how have I advanced. I probably need a few more days. The school is too new to have produced famous alumni. Your support (Keep) will be greatly appreciated. --AAAAA 17:27, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)

  • Thank you VERY MUCH for your help in improving (and hopefully saving) the article.--AAAAA 22:20, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)


Headers you inserted at Talk:Creationism/What_is_wrong_with_the_lead_section[edit]

I appreciate the time it took to insert the headers, but I strongly feel that they were placed and phrased in such a manner as to favor your particular POV on this topic, and hence were misleading as to the actual linear progression of the discussion. Something as important as restructuring a discussion page should really only be done after seeking and gaining consensus, particularly when it affects how the discussion will be perceived.--FeloniousMonk 03:47, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)


RednBlu, your recent POV edits and multiple attempts at undoing any balance being added correcting same comes dangerously close to being an edit war. Also, your subtle insults and characterizations violate the wikipedia spirit. It appears to myself and others I've spoken to that you are conducting an anti-"evolutionist"/pro-"creationist" campaign. Considering the vast number of posts of yours found in those two talk pages and the content of your User page, it seems to be some sort of obsession and only confirms allegations of a POV bias. Also, your not-subtle-enough insults posted tonight at Talk:Creationism/What_is_wrong_with_the_lead_section are not in the spirit of wikipedia and need to stop. I'm asking you to desist and and accept a truce. Failure to do so and continuing on the path of posting misleading headers, POV titles to debates, and continual undoing of attempts to balance your POV additions will result in my recommending this for the dispute resolution process.--FeloniousMonk 07:25, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

RednBlu, I see you again have reinserted your POV headers at Talk:Creationism/What_is_wrong_with_the_lead_section and have restructured the page. This has changed the chonological order of the posts, making the flow of responses now non-linear and changing the nature of how the debate reads. Again, I think you are using this tactic to favor your POV by framing the debate in a light favorable to your position. Myself and others feel for the positions and replies to be understood fairly the posts should be left in the chronological order in which they were made. Since you have ignored my offer of a truce and compromise having continued with your campaign, and considering your statements made User_talk:Pjacobi#Hail here indicating that this is indeed a pathological campaign to enforce your POV in the Creationism article by controlling any debate on the topics, I can only conclude that your actions are indeed part of a campaign and an edit war limited to a Talk page.--FeloniousMonk 06:05, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Upon further investigation I see that the order of the posts has not changed, and so I am willing to let the headers stand and I will just address the new points that they introduce. Please keep the POV characterizations out of the article and limit them to the Talk pages if you feel you must make them.--FeloniousMonk 08:23, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Talk:Human[edit]

It seems you forgot to appoint a time to end the vote. I suggest in one week. dab 17:03, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Red, I agree all my polling and Kim talk needs to be moved to Talk:Human and you may proceed freely with my blessing to do anything you feel helpful with my talk page. Except for one thing. Don't move the poll until it closes Friday. Tom - Talk 22:48, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Your recent edits to Creationism[edit]

Please desist in your constant reverts of already serviceable content, again your actions can be considered an edit war. The direct quote you reverted to violates BBC's published policy I'm giving you the opportunity to rewrite the copyrighted text before I do.--FeloniousMonk 19:58, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)


Allegations on Talk:Creationism[edit]

Serious allegations have been made against you on the Talk:Creation page. You've apparently been misrepresenting yourself on wikipedia while continuing your well known anti-evolution campaign from the usenet now on wikipedia. What do you have to say about this? Having read some your long history of vehemently supporting creationism on the usenet, I find your claims of being a supporter of evolution disingenuous and in extreme bad faith. This explains your contentiousness and mendaciousness on nearly every point related to evolution and your rants about "bigoted evolutionists conspiring to control wikipedia" etc.

BTW, the BBC copyright protected text you posted has been up for two days now, do you plan on rewriting it anytime soon?--FeloniousMonk 04:30, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Removed image from On the Nature of Things[edit]

I removed the big image of the Galapagos islands, which don't seem to have anything to do with On the Nature of Things. See Talk:On the Nature of Things for the (brief) discussion about the image. If there is a reason to keep the image, you might mention it in the discussion for the article. -- Jacius 02:48, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Religious poll[edit]

Thanks, Red. It does indeed seem a little, er, bad mannered for irreligious people to be answering my question. Sigh. Nonetheless I am going to stay silent. I appreciate your uncommon grasp of NPOV. It seems many of our fellows don't really have at heart the best interest of Wikipedia to present all human "knowledge". Too much suppression from all quarters going on, I'd say. Tom - Talk 15:31, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

p.s. I guess you can probably tell that God and Heaven are more real to me than this world. But I honestly don't think God will hold a grudge (the thought!) against you or anybody else for sincerely and honestly refusing to believe in any utter nonsense. As I usually phrase it, "It doesn't appear that God holds atheism against anybody, and so I certainly won't." Tom - Talk 15:42, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

POV Campaign on Talk:Creationism and Talk:Intelligent_Design[edit]

Rednblu, you are constantly restructuring the Talk pages here and at Talk:Creationism, Intelligent Design and Human, usually in a way that favors your POV. Your incessant refactoring of these Talk pages is highly inappropriate on wikipedia and clear evidence that you are conducting a campaign, the purpose of which to rewrite both the Creationism and Intelligent Design articles to conform to your pet POV. Your attempts to control the debate here are consistent with your well known history of bias on the usenet and the web.

Based on what we've seen of your contributions at Talk:Creationism and Talk:Intelligent Design taken with your extensive usenet history, and the POV statements on your User page there is substantial evidence that you are conducting a POV campaign here.

I am going to have to insist that 1) you cease your mendacious campaign to promote your biased POV on wikipedia, 2) that you stop restructuring/refactoring the Talk pages, 3) that you cease continually resurrecting previously settled NPOV topics.--FeloniousMonk 18:37, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Red, I would be interested to see examples of these offenses of yours. I certainly haven't seen anyting offensive in your approach to Human. You have been bold, and at times startling. But you have always been reasonable and willing to listen. You haven't been rude. You haven't refused to talk. You have been patient. Is there some example to the contrary FM is concerned about? There are some very serious accusations levelled against you, and if they are true, you must come clean. I am giving you the benefit of the doubt, but I believe there is a burden of proof on you to demonstrate some good faith to these guys. Tom - Talk 22:46, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

Perhaps FM could copy an example of one of these offenses of mine to this page and we could talk about it. ---Rednblu 23:01, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

Okay, it's time I added my two cents' worth.

<<Rednblu, you are constantly restructuring the Talk pages here and at Talk:Creationism, Intelligent Design and Human,>>
I haven't been watching Human, so my comments don't apply to it. But with the other two, the talk pages have been getting too big (i.e. big enough that there was an automatic suggestion that it needed to be divided). So removing some to an archive is quite appropriate, and could have just as easily been done by others. I didn't do it myself because I haven't learned how to do that, plus I would have wanted to spend a bit of time that I didn't have in thinking about the best way to do it. Not being prepared to do it myself, I'm not about to criticise someone else for doing it, even if they do it in a way different to what I would have done. Of course that doesn't mean that I won't comment if I think that it has been done in a bad way, but in that case I will point out specifically what I think is wrong. In contrast, FeloniousMonk has made a general criticism, not a very specific one.

<<usually in a way that favors your POV>>
That, I suggest, is a POV in itself. Surely you are free to "restructure" it also if you think you can do better. I don't recall any "restructuring" other than removing parts to separate pages and inserting headings. That is, I don't think anything has had its order changed.

<<you are conducting a campaign, the purpose of which to rewrite both the ... articles to conform to your pet POV>>
My POV is that the articles should fairly represent reality. I expect that is the POV of FeloniousMonk and Rednblu. I don't see a problem. However, I don't think that FeloniousMonk's view of reality is correct. Rednblu is an evolutionist, but clearly trying to give opposing points of view a fair go.

<<Your attempts to control the debate here are consistent with your well known history of bias on the usenet and the web.>>
Having looked (twice now) at the links provided by LogicHammer on the Creationism talk page, I fail to see that this accusation has any merit. It seems to boil down to two factors:

  • Rednblu claims to be an evolutionist but is defending creation, and this is irrational, so something else is going on.
This is nonsense. It is the height of evolutionist bigotry to suggest that an evolutionist cannot defend something a creationist says. I agree with Rednblu's comment below about making arguments that disagree with a personal point of view. I agree because I sometimes do the same. For example, if I hear a creationist arguing a case for creation on fallacious grounds, I disagree with them, because their reasoning is wrong, even though I agree with their conclusions.
  • Rednblu is supposed to be an invented person pretending to take a creation side.
The trouble with this argument is that he is a self-declared evolutionist (and not just by using that term, but backs it up in various ways). So the allegation really amounts to saying that he is pretending to be a creationist who is pretending to be an evolutionist! This is so nonsensical and so far from the original claim that I don't believe that it requires further comment.

On the matter of copyright infringement, I was already of the same mind as Rednblu has now answered. Direct (attributed) quotes of a small portion of the original are not an infringement of copyright. In fact, in certain circumstances (perhaps not applicable here), larger or complete quotes are legitimate.
Philip J. Rayment 03:21, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Phillip, once we establish Rednblu's position on the Wikipedia policy of Good Faith, perhaps you could move your statements above into the appropriate area of the allegations section. Tom - Talk 05:32, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Allegations against User:Rednblu[edit]

This section created by: Tom - Talk Resolution advocated by: Tom - Talk

Certain users have made certain allegations against User:Rednblu. This section is for the purpose of addressing those allegations to the satisfaction of the Wikipedia community.

Agreement on Wikedia policies that Rednblu is alleged to have violated[edit]

List here the policies Rednblu is alleged to have violated. Rednblu should indicate here his disposition toward the policies.

Good Faith policy (adjourned)[edit]

Members should represent themselves and their view in good faith. Tom - Talk 23:53, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Red, would you mind stating your views concerning good faith? Tom - Talk 05:13, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

Certainly. In my opinion, I would consider myself to be acting in good faith if I thought, even though I might have been mistaken, at the time of acting that I was doing the right thing that would make a 1) Wikipedia page a better encyclopedia page or would make the 2) Wikipedia community more effective at producing better encyclopedia pages. In my opinion, a Wikipedia page is "better" if the page is clearer, more accurate, more useful to readers, more balanced, or more artistic even if the page thereby opposes more effectively my own personal point-of-views and biases. ---Rednblu 05:31, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I agree with your statement, and I think it will be applicable to the section on NPOV.

More pointedly here, I am interested in good faith regarding your decade-long consistent identity. The following statement has been attributed to you: "Any neutral observer looking over the shoulder of the creationist player seated at the chess board might kibitz with: Use the evolutionist disguise."

  • Would it be in good faith to assume a fictitious identity whose stated beliefs were antithetical to your own? Would it be in good faith for me to live as Rednblu the atheist on the internet while all the time I am a living, praying, feeling believer in the real world and in the next life? Tom - Talk 06:16, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

Fair question. Let me structure what may be an equivalent metaphor for Wikipedia. "Any neutral observer looking over the shoulder of the evolutionist editor seated at the keyboard editing the Creationism page might say: If you want a good NPOV page, try editing it once pretending for the moment that you are thinking with the sensitivities and priorities of a creationist."

  • Whether it is good faith to assume a fictitious identity would depend on the circumstances, I would say. At a costume party, a fictitious identity is expected. In contrast, on the User:Rednblu Wikipedia page, I would consider it NOT good faith if I were make a claim that was false. That is, I just read the first section of the User:Rednblu page again, and find that it says there what I truly believe--including the tones of passion, exasperation, and hope. Now I must say that I have many other tones of passion, despair, triumph, hope, and faith on many subjects and areas other than what is on the User:Rednblu page. But that page is accurate in good faith and enough, I would say, for Wikipedia purposes. ---Rednblu 06:53, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Fair enough. Then in your view it would be a violation of good faith if a flesh and blood Phd with many accomplishments and a real world identity that included belief in God were to sit with his fleshy fingers at a keyboard and operate solely the atheistic, evolutionistic identity User:Rednblu? Tom - Talk 07:25, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

(I need to finish a document I am putting together, so I won't be back again until morning. So this is my last statement for tonight. Sweet dreams!)

It would not violate my personal idea of good faith for someone who believed in God to edit Wikipedia pages to faithfully and accurately represent the "evolutionist" point-of-view--in fact I would encourage it. ;)) But in the present circumstances, given the position I have in life, if I did believe in God, I think I would consider it my duty to say so at this time. That may answer your question in its general form about the hypothetical PhD. If I answer your question personally rather than generally I would say, I have no interest in swaying anyone to my particular view on God; nevertheless I say with all due respect and even softly to all who may read "There ain't no God I say." ---Rednblu 08:05, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Oh, human Man who Sits at the keyboard and operates Rednblu (I will call you henceforth RMS, Rednblu's Man Sitter), we know that Rednblu is an atheist. That has been well established. But I will be speaking in this section to RMS. I am, as are others who are not embroiled in the Creationist fury, actually quite favorable to Rednblu's contributions to NPOV. And it is apparent from his edit history that he is an asset to Wikipedia. But it appears at the moment that you, RMS, keep avoiding my question and reverting to a restatement of Rednblu's (and your own) laudable commitment to NPOV. So I will ask it again. And perhaps others can give their "yes" or "no" too. Tom - Talk

  • Would it be a violation of good faith for a flesh and blood human with decades of established belief in God to pose as atheistic Rednblu? Tom - Talk

---

You pose for me a puzzle that I have worked out three times now. Let's see if I have to start all over again with this answer when I get half-way through it again this time.  :)

If I were to judge whether a woman has acted in good faith, I would first have to put myself into "her shoes" and determine whether she reasonably expected good, by her standards, to be the likely result of her actions.

In my opinion, the "decades of established belief in God" has no relevance to whether there is a violation of good faith in posing as "atheistic Rednblu" on Wikipedia. What would count by my standards was whether that person posing as "atheistic Rednblu" did good work and helped other people do good work putting together good encyclopedia pages. For me, the pretender's good faith might become relevant if the pretender did some damage to Wikipedia pages or to the Wikipedia community. But I cannot see how the "decades of established belief in God" would even then be relevant to the person's good faith--because in my view what counts for good faith is whether the person reasonably expected a better Wikipedia page or a better Wikipedia community to result at the time of action.

Hence, my answer is "No." That is, the "decades of established belief in God" would be irrelevant to whether "posing as atheistic Rednblu" was a violation of good faith.

Let me test that answer with a hypothetical. Suppose I were engaged in a heated argument with Mr. Monk on the Creationism page. And suppose I succeeded in keeping a wrong fact on the Creationism page even over Mr. Monk's objection. By my standards I would have done wrong, for I would have caused the Creationism page to have a wrong fact despite Mr. Monk's valiant efforts. So then and only then is my good faith called into question. And the only factors relevant to my good faith it seems to me would be such things as

  • whether I thought though wrongfully that the fact was correct (I would say I should be pardoned here)
  • whether I was just engaged in a power struggle with Mr. Monk (I would say I have failed to stay alert to my own follies if that has happened)
  • whether I maliciously tried to implant the Creationism page with wrong facts (by my standards I would have violated good faith in that case).

Under no situation I can think of here related to Mr. Monk's allegations below does my possible "decades of established belief in God" become relevant to whether or not I have acted in good faith. ---Rednblu 20:35, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

RMS (Red's Man Sitting), we are not talking about NOV and the good of Wikipedia in this section. We are merely trying to establish what is menat by good faith. Thank you for answering plainly. RMS belives that posing as Rednblu is not a violation of good faith even if Rednblu's core beliefs are diametrically opposed to RMS's. Tom - Talk 21:54, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

My answer is yes, it would be a violation of good faith, if we can all agree that the time and effort of those who respond to such arguments in their own good faith has any value. To say 'no' is to discount the value of the genuine good faith efforts and time of others.--FeloniousMonk 21:17, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

My answer is yes, because it violates the expectations of the community. This in spite of the fact I disagree with FM's reasons above. Rednblu (and RMS vicariously) doesn't waste anybody's time, but he does violate their good faith. I guess now we have a difference of opinion on this first item. Since RMS has answered the question plainly, I personally will resume speaking to Rednblu unless the need arises to address RMS directly again. So, Red and FM, we have an honest difference of opinion now in this first section. What is our next step? Tom - Talk 21:54, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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I believe we should use the Wikipedia definition of good faith here. It is not possible for me to violate someone else's good faith, I would say. I may disappoint someone's expectations, but I could not violate someone's good faith. ---Rednblu

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I feel decisions here should be based on the assumption of good faith and description of good faith as described in wikipedia policy and its foundations, as those are the primary criteria relevant for deciding policy violations:

--FeloniousMonk 23:22, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I am requesting comment from others at Wikipedia:Requests for comment. Tom - Talk 15:26, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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Summary statement of Rednblu:

  • Let me remind everybody again at this time that the question "whether good faith policy would prevent a believing creationist from operating an atheist Wikipedia personality" is an entirely hypothetical question unrelated to Rednblu. Resolution of this hypothetical question will assist no one in resolving the hurt that gives rise to these charges.
  • These charges arose as the result of charging party being unable to stop the discovery by Rednblu and several others that currently one POV has wrongfully monopolized the definition of the English word "theory" on Wikipedia--contrary to the explicit usage and definitions of the majority of scholars writing in English.
  • Unable to compete verbally in argument over the underlying issue, charging party has mounted the ad hominem attack in these charges which include irrelevant investigations of the personal history of those who argue POVs which frustrate charging party's arguments.
    • Let me ask you simply. Would you think it right for someone to investigate your decades-long personal history to keep you from helping others make Wikipedia pages accurate?
  • Hence, I suggest that we all resolve right now that the personal history of the Wikipedia editor is irrelevant; rather what counts on Wikipedia is what the editor does on Wikipedia to help others build good Wikipedia pages and a good Wikipedia community. ---Rednblu 17:08, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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I think you are grossly mischaracterizing and trying to misdirect here: I am not the person who brought your history and agenda to our attention, we have Logic hammer to thank for that. Nor am I the person who began this hearing here, Hawstom and yourself called on me to post these allegations here. It is actually you that is making an ad hominem here, now.

The Good Faith of its editors is the very essence of wikipedia and is central to its tenets as evidenced in its policies. I'm sorry your's is in doubt, but it is your own mendacious behavior on the Creationism and Intelligent Design Talk pages that brought this about.--FeloniousMonk 18:58, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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Of course, it is up to the on-looking Wikipedia community to judge.

  • Pointing to what charging party was doing when the charges arose is not an ad hominem attack. And pointing to the fact that your friend User:Logic hammer that you thank has only that one friendly posting for you to its credit is not an ad hominem attack. That, my friend, is what they call evidence--because those 'who, what, where, when' facts describe the crime scene from which you bring these charges.
  • In contrast, if I were to construct a defense in this hearing from what I already know about who "FeloniousMonk" really is and give hints to where anybody can find you the man at the keyboard and what you have posted on Usenet for the last ten years, I would consider that an ad hominem attack--because it has nothing to do with the argument from which these charges rose.
  • To close these hearings out, to save everyone's time, and to avoid similar difficulties in the future, I propose the following:
    • In all Wikipedia pages, including Talk:Creationism and Talk:Intelligent design, no matter how heated the arguments,
      1. Rednblu will never respond to FeloniousMonk's remarks and will not refer to either FeloniousMonk or make reference to FeloniousMonk's remarks.
      2. Reciprocally, FeloniousMonk will never respond to Rednblu's remarks and will not refer to either Rednblu or make reference to Rednblu's remarks.

Do we have a deal? ---Rednblu 19:56, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Regarding your deal, I say here's a counter-deal. Maybe I erred in judgement and indulged my personal indignation in opening this section first. Please forgive me if that is so. I am willing, if the two of you are, to adjourn this section and go to the NPOV policy section until further notice. Red, I wish you would just stick to the issue of this section (yes, obviously this section is purely theoretical and non-personal about Wikipedia policy) and keep hedging your answers. And FM, please try to briefly redirect Red back to the topic at hand if you feel he is obfuscating or throwing up unreasonable objections. I can see why it would be more fair to Red to jump to the NPOV policy section, then the NPOV dispute section. It is a bit unfair to ask him to discuss good faith when he feels the matter only arose because of misunderstanding related to WP:NPOV. And he may hold the hope that if NPOV is resolved good faith will not be an issue. Shall we then adjourn to the NPOV Policy section below? Tom - Talk 20:55, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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Mr. Monk? You decide. ---Rednblu 20:58, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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Moving on to NPOV is fine by me, with the understanding that this issue of good faith remains to be settled at a later date. Please be aware that I will not be able to post anything on the NPOV issue until later today, though.--FeloniousMonk 21:10, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Adjourned. Tom - Talk 21:14, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Copyright infringement policy (open)[edit]

Members must not contribute material that violates copyright law. Tom - Talk 23:53, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

And comply with wikipedia's own policy regarding using other's works:

--FeloniousMonk 05:08, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)


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Wikipedia in its copyright policy recognizes both fair use and fair dealing. The issue here is text that consists of quotations of less than 5% of an original Web page, and there is a citation at the end of the sentence that leads to the original Web page on a BBC Web site. Thus, the quotation in question serves as an index pointing to the original Web page as would a verbatim quotation in the Google search engine. This kind of indexing quotation cited to the original Web page is explained on the fair use page, bullets 1 and 2, as either an exception to copyright, or as a "moral right" of the Wikipedia editor under fair dealing as explained on the fair dealing page under the terms "criticism, review and news reporting."

The sentence in question is as follows:

<<"After a deluge of protest from scientists, teachers and opposition parties," says the BBC report, Ms. Colic's deputy made the statement, "I have come here to confirm Charles Darwin is still alive," and announced that the decision was reversed. [4]>>

The sentence in question is reporting what happened to a creationist educator in Serbia who proposed banning the teaching of evolution unless creationism was also taught. [5] Hence, the use on the Creationism page was

  1. "news reporting" on what happened in Serbia
  2. "review" of comparison approaches to teaching creationism outside the United States and
  3. within the overall paragraph a NPOV "criticism" of the events in Serbia.

Within this paragraph of "criticism, review, and news reporting," in my opinion, the surest way to guarantee absolute NPOV in this Wikipedia paragraph is to quote the news reports and the statements of the people as reported in the news reports--as is allowed as a "reasonable proportion" of the original Web page under fair dealing.

Notice that the excerpt quotation is text--not an image. The Wikipedia policies quoted by Mr. Monk above explain the details of copyright for fair use of images but do not explain the fair use exceptions to copyright for text as is explained on the fair use page. At the conclusion of this hearing, one of us might make the Wikipedia policy pages above explicit about the fair use of small quotations from text, consistent with the fair use page and fair dealing page to minimize unnecessary hearings such as this one.

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The fair use and fair dealing argument does not apply in this situation; the BBC's terms and conditions is worded in such a way as to constitute an agreement that nullifies any imputed entitlement to usage of the content under claims of fair use. In matters where there is any doubt or controversy such as this, the correct course of action would have been for Rednblu to contact the BBC for a release or clarification, using the Wikipedia:Boilerplate request for permission form as directed by wikipolicy. Wikipedia enjoins its editors to always follow the policies of all reference sources, something that Rednblu has failed in this instance to do.--FeloniousMonk 06:51, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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Fair use and fair dealing, being provisions of the very enabling laws that create the copyright, apply no matter what BBC's posted terms and conditions are. And the Wikipedia policies to which you refer treat images or large quotations of text; those Wikipedia policies do not treat the situation of short quotes of less than 5% of an original text--which quotes are appropriately cited to the original by a link. There are similar cited short quotes all over Wikipedia and any other publication such as newspapers, journals, and encyclopedias. ---Rednblu 07:10, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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The BBC's lawyers likely have a very different view than yours here, or else they would not have worded their terms and conditions thusly. Wikipedia policy requires of all editors that they respect the original content owner's rights and policies, regardless of what US or UK law may say about fair use. The BBC's terms and conditions are explicit: You are not permitted to copy, broadcast, download, store (in any medium), transmit, show or play in public, adapt or change in any way the content of these BBC web pages for any other purpose whatsoever without the prior written permission of the BBC. Even if (and I'm not granting that this is the case) fair use law does indeed entitle you to post a certain percentage of any BBC article without their approval and despite their terms of use, doing so violates the policy and the spirit of wikipedia. This is true regardless of laws governing fair use may allow us to do. Removing the content while seeking BBC consent or rewriting the content would have been the correct course action according to wikipolicy and the spirit of wikipedia, not stubbornly resisting all suggestions to do so till we find ourselves here.

I have just discovered that you are a lawyer yourself. Why didn't you disclose this at the beginning? It's certainly relevant here. Again, this lack of full disclosure goes to your good faith credibility.--FeloniousMonk 08:40, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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Directing readers to additional comments and a suggestion to Rednblu's points made by Lupo --FeloniousMonk 10:01, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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Quoting short sentences from news agencies etc and giving a a source pointer is in fact a Wikipedia recommended practice to be prefererred over not or hard verifiable constructs like "an observer noted" and giving a free paraphrase of the statement. -- Pjacobi 10:40, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

NPOV policy (open)[edit]

I propose this be deferred until the other two are resolved. This is very subtle and tricky. And the others are more egregious, particularly (by far) Good Faith. Tom - Talk 00:01, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The future is here! Open for discussion. What is NPOV? Let's speak hypothetically to the points in question for a little bit, if that's ok with the two of you. I think this is very important. If not, we can move on to the dispute. How about each of you add your statement of the clauses, policies, or expressions of NPOV policy that have been violated. Tom - Talk 21:17, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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I firmly believe in the spirit and the letter of the wikipedia NPOV policy and have let it be my sole guide for moderating my edits and additions at wikipedia. I also believe we can only rely on wikipedia's own definition of NPOV as it's presented in the policies. I will not, and do not make or accept nuanced interpretations or definitions of what constitutes NPOV. As stated in the very first paragraph of the policy: NPOV is "absolute and non-negotiable." Clearly all wikipedia editors must abide by the wikipedia policy as written and its spirit; personal, unique interpretations of what constitutes acceptable NPOV levels are not acceptable.

Hear, hear! Tom - Talk 05:11, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Bias is what NPOV attempts to address, and it is a bias against anything that affirms the stature or status of science in relation to subjects that touch on religious matters that has been a overriding theme in much of Rednblu's contributions here and here, and in his literally thousands of posts to the usenet, available to anyone willing to look by searching Google Groups for "rednblu". --FeloniousMonk 04:22, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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NPOV Allegations removed for placement in correct location at a the appropriate time. --FeloniousMonk 06:37, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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But wait! Does NPOV disallow our bringing our biases to the table? Check again. Does NPOV disallow our using the lenses of our POV to influence articles for good toward neutrality? Not at all. Tom - Talk 05:11, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Two thoughts:
  • First, this section is where we are supposed to agree on what NPOV policy is. If you can't resist slipping into specific allegations, I personally don't see how we can ever get our common ground straight.
  • Second, I agree with the first few things you said about NPOV, but then all you have said about Rednblu in most of your comment doesn't tell me a thing about your understanding of NPOV other than that you don't think NPOV allows Rednblu to push a particular POV. You could have said that in one line. Is that what you are trying to state about NPOV policy?

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Sorry, I forgot that there was separate section for NPOV allegations, so I'm removing the allegations for placement there at the appropriate time.

You are right, I believe and assert that the wikipedia NPOV policy does not allow Rednblu to push a particular POV, or any other user for that matter. To expand on that, in Responses to How to Build Wikipedia, Understand Bias found on metawikipedia, it states "Our best contributors should not have to waste huge amounts of their time handholding people who are clueless, ignorant, or have an ideological ax to grind..." This also goes to my point made earlier about good faith means respecting the efforts and time of others. Guarding against those with an ideological ax to grind whether their actions manifest in the form knee-jerk opposition to any perceived opposing ideology on Talk pages, as posts of blatant POV content to articles or as POV deletions, those who are responsible good faith contributors should not have to waste huge amounts of our time countering POV campaigns, as the policy states.

But those with ideological POV axes to grind will often claim that they are responsible good faith contributors as well of course, and for some their history here may tend to support that at first glance, but wikipolicy provides for this circumstance too: Deliberate troublemakers also on metawikipedia, illustrates how one with a POV agenda can be both a good wikipedian and a disruptive and mendacious user at the same time: "(some users)...know the Wikipedia culture well enough to realize that if they make occasional, valid edits they can also engage in some vandalism without fear of a block. Patterns vary, but these users generally target a few pages of interest and insist upon inclusion of some sort of inappropriate edit. A good deal of time is spent dealing with such users. Part of the difficulty is that not all Wikipedians may be familiar with the editing pattern and may conclude that Wikipedians who have dealt with the problem user regularly are being harsh as a result."

I think that is exactly what we have run up against here, and many of the responses here on this page do indicate mendaciousness and intent [Accidentally slipping into allegations. Tom]. Clearly this is incompatible with both the NPOV and Good Faith policies and the spirit of wikipedia.--FeloniousMonk 06:37, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I think I am clearer on what you are saying. It may be that the problem, as indicated by the sources you are citing, is not really with the meaning of NPOV, but with the idea of respecting the time and efforst of other contributors. In other words, the reality is that Wikipedia is run by real people with real constraints, real emotions, and real limits. In the hypothetical case that there is an editor who recognizes a serious bias problem in an area of Wikipedia, that editor would want to go gently, diplomatically, and, yes, slowly to address the problem. You are suggesting that such an editor would be better off in the long run building teams, establishing trust, and making a good name for himself than attacking the bias problem full bore on several fronts. And you are saying that if an editor fails to do that, he is in for a lot of opposition. Rather than forcing other editors to confront him when they would rather not, such an editor might be better off at Wikipedia focusing on causes that are ready to be discussed, and poking ever so gently and cautiously in other places where he saw bias. Tom - Talk 18:12, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
p.s. Does this express it too? Wikipedia:Wikiquette#Other_words_of_advice "Turn the other cheek (which includes walking away from potential edit wars)" Should we say Be bold (but be gentle too). Tom - Talk 18:21, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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That's not exactly what I was getting at. I would take the statement "Our best contributors should not have to waste huge amounts of their time handholding people who are clueless, ignorant, or have an ideological ax to grind..." [6] to mean also "Our best contributors should not have to waste huge amounts of their time handholding people who are clueless, ignorant, or do not act in Good Faith..." as clearly campaigning for any ideological POV in wikipedia articles or Talk pages violates the trust and assumption of Good Faith we all must have for each other. The fact that someone would publicly assert that "evolutionists on Wikipedia enforce a censorship on Wikipedia from a bigoted and parochial view" smacks of POV ideology.--FeloniousMonk 19:21, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Are you saying that we are to attempt to come to the Wikipedia table with our POVs shed? Tom - Talk 20:15, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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Let us consider NPOV in the very real context of the Creationism page--because let's be real and talk about "theory" with an eye for making sure that the "theory" will be useful when we apply it to "experiment."

I have used the "data" from this painful encounter with Mr. Monk and surrounding events to rethink the "theory" of NPOV--not to replace but to build on what is already there.

So here is my reformulation of NPOV in which I am looking for

  • an image if the current formulation is text
  • a power series if the current formulation is a function f(z)
  • a Hamiltonian if the current formulation is Lagrangian.

I do not intend to change the NPOV policy, only state it in a more useful form.

I'm not sure this is going to be helpful here. FM said he didn't want any reformulations. He only wants direct quotes of the policy. Tom - Talk 05:11, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Suppose we have collected all the POVs on "creationism." Let S be the set of all those collected POVs on creationism, including what molecular biologists say about creationism.

Suppose we develop a two-dimensional mapping of all of those collected points-of-view. We would have lots of points in an x,y plot. Such a two-dimensional mapping of views on creationism certainly would have a lot of scatter in the points. The creationists would be clumped in one quadrant, and the molecular biologists would be clumped in another quadrant, far removed from the clumping of creationists.

So let us consider the problem of writing a good Wikipedia page that reduces all that data and scatter of POVs on creationism to one readable page. You have to leave out a lot of POVs, you have to combine POVs, and you still want to give the reader a useful sense of all of that data.

There are lots of ways to represent points and scatter of points, but to be useful the approach must vary depending on the scatter in the data. One popular simplification of NPOV is to look for what everybody agrees is true and put that in the Wikipedia:lead section. That approach would work very well where all the POVs clustered around the origin, for example. But that approach when applied to Creationism, I suggest, is like finding the average x,y for points in two clusters, where one cluster is in the extreme far reaches of the first quadrant and another cluster is in the extreme far reaches of the third quadrant. Everyone might agree on the average x,y, but I suggest that the average x,y is a very poor and useless representation of data clustered in two widely separated regions.

Specifically, it seems to me, where there is wide divergence in the data of POVs about a Wikipedia page, the lead section and the rest of the article must be structured differently to reflect an actual and useful NPOV--depending on the scatter and clustering of the data in POVs among scholars.

Yes! This is what is emerging for Human and what must be done for some religion articles like Mormonism and Christianity. And in NPOV parlance it is called "characterizing the dispute" or "representing all significant POVs fairly." Tom - Talk 05:17, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Enter FeloniousMonk and Rednblu about a month ago. And digging around we encounter the data that a significant fraction of the scholarly POVs on creationism begin with the definition "Creationism is the theory that . . . ." which definition of course violates the carefully developed definition of theory so crucial in the scientific method. In looking for some reasonable and useful way to represent this particular clustering and scatter in the POVs on the definition of "theory," Mr. Monk and I generated a lot of heat. And this whole set of irrelevant allegations and ad hominem attack in Mr. Monk's charges are a result of all that heat.

I gather that Mr. Monk thinks the current definition of "theory" enforced throughout Wikipedia is NPOV. But after looking more closely at the data of POVs on "theory" among scholars, it appears that the current definition of "theory" is very biased and only the biased POV of some scientists.

My particular view of NPOV in this situation is to try to represent the real data--whatever that data is. And in this particular situation, NPOV requires that Mr. Monk and his supporters of the scientific method's definition of "theory" must give ground. One possible solution to the POV violation of the current theory page might be a "theory" disambiguation page that would reference at least two definitions for the English word theory:

  • theory as in the scientific method, which requires falsifiability and verification
  • theory as in explanation of facts according to stated assumptions and hypothetical mechanisms, which does not require falsifiability and verification.

I do not suggest the wording of the NPOV solution; I merely propose the structure of an NPOV solution for representing the observed scatter and clustering in data on scholarly POVs about "theory."

It seems to me that the Wikipedia NPOV policy that "no one discipline or POV owns the definition of a word" is a good one. Wikipedia should go by the various dictionaries and by the various POVs of scholars in the area. ---Rednblu 23:35, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Red, like FM you are getting a little too far into the specific issues at hand, though I see that you are viewing them as symbolic of the greater policy. We need to agree on a little common ground som we can proceed. I don't think your explanations are flawed. And having read the NPOV doc carefully three times including in the past two weeks, I think they are harmonious with the doc. But I don't know that they satisfy exactly FM's requirement to stick to the doc. Tom - Talk 05:17, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Now here is my statement, constructed entirely of direct quotes from the WP:NPOV:

  • The policy doesn't assume that it's possible to write an article from just a single unbiased, "objective" point of view. The policy says that we should fairly represent all sides of a dispute, and not make an article state, imply, or insinuate that any one side is correct.
  • It is crucial that Wikipedians work together to make articles unbiased.
  • Articles without bias describe debates fairly rather than advocating any side of the debate.
  • Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, a compilation of human knowledge. "Human knowledge" includes all different significant theories on all different topics. In the Middle Ages, we "knew" that demons caused diseases. We now "know" otherwise.
  • The best way to avoid warfare over bias is to remember that we are all reasonably intelligent, articulate people here, or we wouldn't be working on this and caring so much about it. We have to make it our goal to understand each others' perspectives and to work hard to make sure that those other perspectives are fairly represented. When any dispute arises as to what the article "should" say or what is "true," we must not adopt an adversarial stance; we must do our best to step back and ask ourselves, "How can this dispute be fairly characterized?" This has to be asked repeatedly as each new controversial point is stated. It is not our job to edit Wikipedia so that it reflects our own idiosyncratic views and then defend those edits against all comers; it is our job to work together, mainly adding new content, but also, when necessary, coming to a compromise about how a controversy should be described, so that it is fair to all sides.

Tom - Talk 05:40, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I will try to summarize the NPOV points brought up by you two. (Whew!) Tell me if you agree or disagree that these statements are essential to NPOV policy.

  • NPOV is "absolute and non-negotiable.
  • Bias is what NPOV attempts to address
  • Sometimes differences of opinion are minor enough that a consensus only can be presented.
  • Sometimes POV differences are such that the best we can do is "characterize the dispute".

One other thing. Ed Poor's statements below are general enough that I think they belong here. Please consider them and let me know if you agree with them too. Tom - Talk 05:46, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)


A senior admin weighs in[edit]

I've been asked to get involved in this (something about formulating the accusation properly).

  1. First of all, I don't see any need for accusations.
  2. Points of view (POV) are the sum and total of what the Creationism and intelligent design articles are all about, not to mention theory of evolution, et al.

I would like to see all articles touching on the question of human origins to be as accurate as we can make them. I also hope that contributors will agree to allow ALL points of view to get an airing.

There is a mixture (more like a witch's cauldron than a fruit smoothie) of bitterly opposed ideas on this topic. Our readers would probably like to have a place where they can find out about these ideas.

  • Materialists look for natural principles (anything's better than mere faith).
  • Religious believers hope to find scientific confirmation for their faith views.

Wikipedia cannot assert that any particular viewpoint on this topic is:

  • the truth
  • a fact
  • scientifically proven

It can only say that various authorities or advocates have reported certain observations and provided certain explanations. None of us should try to get the Wikipedia to endorse our own POV. (Not even me, even though I'm smarter than all of you guys put together and therefore r-i-g-h-t! ;-) --Uncle Ed 13:15, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)


If we all agree with my statement and summary as well as Ed's, we may as well move on to the allegations. Let me know. Tom - Talk 05:40, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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I agree with Tom's four points of summary and with Uncle Ed's advice. May I ask Mr. Monk: What is it you and I can do in terms of NPOV to close out this hearing? ---Rednblu 05:43, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Settlement proposal by FeloniousMonk (this section title is disputed)[edit]

I disagree with your characterization implied by this new section title you've added before this particular discussion has ended. I did not propose a settlement offer, I only responded to your request for my terms, and those are very different things to most people. The accurate title would have read "Settlement terms of FeloniousMonk in response to Rednblu".

Once again you've clearly violated another wikipedia policy here: "Try to avoid refactoring when a conversation is still going on. This can cause additional confusion, and may not be liked by those involved in the discussion. Do not try to refactor a discussion where you have a strong point of view. The summarized version needs to reflect the original meaning, and this may be obscured by your own biases." Retitling sections and adding sections using biased titles is one of the very allegations here against you. I'm amazed that you'd continue to do it in the very proceeding discussing those allegations against you, it's like lighting up a joint in the courtroom during your trial for possesion. Astounding. Once again you prove my point for me that you employ not-so-subtle disingenuous tactics that are against both the spirit and the policy of wikipedia.

Tom, your weighing in on the blatant policy violation and the biased characterization in the section title specifically is warranted.--FeloniousMonk 06:30, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I apologize. The policy violation was unintentional as was the bias. And I didn't understand the implications of the sentence above until this moment. The refactoring was simple a hasty breaking into sections because I was tired of seeing "a senoir admin weighs in." Please forgive me and feel free to edit as needed to be more compliant and less biased. Tom - Talk 15:57, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Yes, I see from the page history that it was Tom who performed the refactoring, not Rednblu.--FeloniousMonk 19:54, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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My dear, dear fellow, Mr. Monk. It is time you and I began a healing here and prepared ourselves to shake hands and depart as good friends from this stage of debate. We have an Encyclopedia to build. May I suggest, sir, that you are mistaken in all of your allegations as you will see from [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=User_talk%3ARednblu&diff=6558668&oldid=6558602 this link] if you but try to see. If I may say so, with no rancor or disrespect intended, you are mistaken in all of these allegations; you are ignoring the facts and seeing what you want to see. Please do not take offense; let us cease these senseless wrangles, shake hands, and leave this forum forever behind us. ;) Is that a deal? ---Rednblu 08:49, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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I see that it was indeed Tom who performed the refactoring of the page, not you, so I apologize for assuming that it was. But, I must remind you that it was a natural assumption based on you having done this very thing many times in the past in violation of wikipedia policy. Your failure to acknowledge that fact here does not inspire me to believe that you will not continue to do the same in the future. Admitting your past transgression would be an excellent and necessary first step to putting this matter behind you.--FeloniousMonk 19:54, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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I agree with Hawstom's summarized statements. I also agree with Ed Poor's statements on NPOV.

Regarding your question Rednblu, I'd settle this now for no less than:

  1. You stipulate to the allegations of acting in Bad Faith on wikipedia and in a POV manner in the Talk pages of the creationism, intelligent design, and evolution articles, and engaging in mendacious and intentionally disruptive debating in same. This requires that you allocute to the allegations here on your Talk page, not to be removed or archived for one year.
  2. That in editing articles in the future you agree not to: engage in mendacious debating, continually resurrect issues previous settled by majority concensus for at least three months after any consensus ruling, and that you cease all inflammatory comments, innuendos and characterizations and mischaracterizations on Talk pages and in their Edit summary fields. What is considered inflammatory, etc. will be decided by the users of those pages and is not open to debate by you, though you may rebut once.
  3. That you abide by Ed Poor's solution to the "creationism, belief or theory?" issue without comment and on whatever Ed Poor and the rest of us decide about the "controversial" tags in relation to any of the previously mentioned articles, again without additional comment.
  4. That you retract your claim that this hearing is an ad hominem attack launched by me.
  5. That you apologize to all parties involved for 1) taking up so much of the their time and effort, especially Hawstom, who has been a real credit to wikipedia, 2) for not acting in good faith regarding your POV and agenda, 3) and for not being upfront and forthright about your beleifs.

If you agree, your stipulation and agreement, retraction, and apology can be made here on this page.--FeloniousMonk 07:39, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

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I'm sorry. I cannot see one smattering of good faith intentions for NPOV in Wikipedia in even one of the items in your offer, my friend, Mr. Monk. Would you care to reconsider? Perhaps you can explain to me how any one of the items in your offer above manifests your good faith intentions for NPOV in Wikipedia? ---Rednblu 15:03, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

Two cornerstones of the foundation of good faith are at the heart of my offer, honesty and responsibility. Considering the seriousness of the allegations against you, the amount of evidence supporting those allegations, and the usual penalty for those who are found to be systematically transgressing wikipedia's NPOV and good faith policies, I feel my offer was generous and addressed the needs of the wikipedia community for both honesty and responsibility in its editors.--FeloniousMonk 16:53, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I feel this statement was inappropriate, FM. We haven't even agreed on the policies yet, and here you are again assuming guilt. Remember nobody has been found to be systematically transgressing. Both you and Rednblu need to back off on each other. Should you each go away from this for a while? I don't see how we can get a resolution when we can't refrain from poking at each other outright. Tom - Talk 20:15, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I disagree, I find it very appropriate considering recent developments. I'm not assuming guilt, I don't have to: Rednblu has already admitted on your Talk page his guilt in violating the spirit and likely letter of wikipedia's Good Faith policy Rednblu admits there he has been misleading us on wikipedia that he is an atheist who supports evolution when he is actually a theist who believes in creationism; by very definition that is a systematic transgression of the wikipedia Good Faith policy. He has built an entire persona as Rednblu, with his User page dedicated to maintaining this evolutionist/atheist illusion along with his debates and posts on various Talk pages, but in your discussion above in Good Faith policy you posed a hypothetical directed specifically at the man behind the Rednblu persona (who you name RMS), not Rednblu, characterizing RMS as "a flesh and blood human with decades of established belief in God." And that person (RMS) has admitted on your Talk page that RMS=Rednblu! In other words Rednblu admits to operating behind a fraudulent persona and making many, many arguments under false pretenses. If that isn't considered systematic transgression of the wikipedia good faith policy's spirit, if not letter, I don't know what is. I've seen many users banned from wikipedia for far less.--FeloniousMonk 19:54, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I interpreted Red's note to me exactly the opposite of how you did. He said the persona of Rednblu on his user page is his true position, or in other words, RMS = Rednblu. To me, that was an affirmation that the man at the keyboard is no different in his demonstrated real life views than Rednblu. If that is true, he hasn't violated good faith at all. Tom - Talk 21:23, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

Let's just take the first item in your offer regarding what you claim is my "acting in a POV manner." From my point-of-view, I do not see how you could possibly claim "honesty and responsibility" in your wanting to silence the arguments I have made, given that you do not disagree with either 1) Tom's summary of Wikipedia NPOV policy or 2) Uncle Ed's statement on the NPOV importance of allowing the POVs of the "various authorities or advocates."

In my view, either you

  1. do not understand NPOV, or you
  2. understand NPOV, and nevertheless you are acting in a bad-faith attempt to force into silence a documented scholarly POV that disagrees with your personal POV agenda.

So let us first address Number 1 above and see where you and I disagree about our understandings of NPOV.

Would you agree that the Talk:Creationism page is the place to discuss what POVs should appear on Creationism? ---Rednblu 17:50, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

My ability to maintain an NPOV is not in question here, it is your's. I understand and abide by wikipedia's NPOV policy and I do not see a need to rebut accusations meant to lead us away from the matter at hand: whether or not you are conducting a POV campaign on certain topically related Talk pages. Making this out as my problem is exactly the sort of ad hominem tactic you employ on Talk pages, and says a lot more about your Good Faith than can I.

Well, maybe I have structured this forum inappropriately. In my opinion, all NPOV disputes are matters of open accusation of both parties toward each other. Both parties always think they are right, and very often both use the poor, abused term NPOV as a bludgeon to get the community to censure the other guy, when what they should really do is both take a few days or a week to go read up and see where maybe, "Lord, is it I?" If we are headed in such a direction that you aren't willing to entertain notions of moving toward Rednblu on the issue of NPOV, we are surely on the wrong path. For the moment, the only way I see of going forward is to cut out the personal attacks to each other and figure just what NPOV (and other policy) does and doesn't require. Please! Tom - Talk 20:15, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Please recognize that Rednblu is the one resorting to personal attacks and I am entitled to defend against them on the terms that they are made while reminding us all of why we are here. Serious allegations against Rednblu have been made and they need to be resolved before he can operate on wikipedia with his assumed good faith intact. Now considering his recent admission of misrepresenting his personal views on wikipedia, I don't not see much point in discussing Rednblu's views on NPOV when our suspicions of his acting in bad faith are essentially confirmed.--FeloniousMonk 19:54, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Again I say this is exactly the opposite of what I heard. I guess we better get other opinions?
Oh boy. I don't agree with either of you. Tom asked RMS "Would it be a violation of good faith for a flesh and blood human with decades of established belief in God to pose as atheistic Rednblu?". The question did not ask "Does your flesh and blood human have decades of established belief in God?" That part was hypothetical. That is, Tom asked if RMS/Rednblu thought that it would violate good faith if that was the case. RMS' answer was that he didn't think it would violate good faith if that was the case, because he considers the belief part to be irrelevant. He didn't say that it was the case--he left that part open, unfortunately.
But I don't fully agree with FeloniousMonk about Rednblu resorting to personal attacks. Rednblu certainly used strong language, but he was saying something that needed to be said, in my opinion, about evolutionists trying to write the Creationism article in a POV way. And I felt (although I know FeloniousMonk disagrees) that some of FeloniousMonk's comments directed towards me amounted to personal attacks.
For the record, I don't believe that a real person should invent a fake persona (which is different than simply having a pseudonym) without revealing that it is fake, and therefore if Rednblu's atheistic/evolutionary stance is fiction, then that amounts to deception and is therefore wrong.
Philip J. Rayment 16:57, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Boy is this confusing (Red, why can you be simpler ;-) ). As Phillip summarized, Red said on this page that he didn't think it would be a violation for a hypothetical creationist to assume an atheist persona on Wikipedia. But on my user talk page, Red said that in fact there is no conflict between Red's Man Sitting at a keyboard and Rednblu. So I think he has said that what you see on his user page is what you get. In fact, he said we will see that to be true in an upcoming book and lecture series Red's Man Sitting will be producing. To me this indicates Red's Man Sitting is vouching personally for the good faith of Rednblu irrespective of disputes over good faith policy. Tom - Talk 15:50, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

No one here is trying to "attempt to force into silence a documented scholarly POV." Your assertions were only supported by one other user, so they are no longer even in play, making that claim a red herring. What we are doing here giving you a chance to account for your repeated refusals to accept and abide by consensus opinion, engaging in mendacious, duplicitous and spurious arguments, claims and personal attacks, and conducting a tedious POV campaign against "bigoted scientists" etc. You should consider carefully the question do you want continue insisting that this is not about your behavior and intent but instead a conspiracy to attack and silence you. Again, as I said before, this is about your honesty, integrity and responsibility to your fellow editors here and the readers of wikipedia.--FeloniousMonk 19:21, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Alternate approach (questions) by Tom[edit]
Ahem, gentlemen. We all know there is a disagreement on core Wikipedia policy here. So why can't we simply address the policy itself in non-offensive, hypothetical terms instead of this endless tit for tat? Tom - Talk

---

I don't feel the disagreement is really about wikipedia policy; they exist, they are reasonably explicit, there is a requirement for all to abide by them. Really this the disagreement here is one about individual behavior in relation to the policy, not policy per se. Unique, individual interpretations of the policy are irrelevant: As both the NPOV policy and Jimbo Wales say, "NPOV is "absolute and non-negotiable". --FeloniousMonk 19:54, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

My apologies if this is submitted at the wrong place or the wrong time. Tom or Ed please move it if necessary.
I have been watching this discussion closely, but have difficulty following the rapid succession of posts.
One thing that I don't believe has been addressed, is how does one recognise bias? I gather that both Rednblu and FeloniousMonk agree with the NPOV policy. The problem, I believe, is that both believe that the other is biased and failing to recognise it (in fact I think that about one of the participants). Both agree with NPOV, but both believe that they are abiding by it, but that the other person is not. Perhaps before we get to discussing the particular claims of pushing a POV, we need to discuss recognition of bias? As part of this, I draw everyone's attention to the following from NPOV dispute: "While all facts might be presented fairly, the very selection (and omission) of facts can make an article biased."
Philip J. Rayment 16:07, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Thank you, Philip. I think that is where we need to be in the discussion. Hmm...recognition of bias. I also like the phrase "represent all 'knowledge'. We 'knew' the sun revolved around the earth. Now we 'know' otherwise." I think that speaks to a sense of humility about the "facts". Tom - Talk 16:54, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I have come back several times to see how I could "tack the boat" in the direction of Mr. Monk and me looking at "recognition of bias." I think that would be a very useful conversation, but we are not there yet, in my opinion. It seems that Mr. Monk wants me silent--not because of a bias he perceives in me--but because of something else. Anyone have any ideas? Mr. Monk? ---Rednblu 05:13, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

OK. I'm going to try something here to cool things down. What do you both think of answering the following questions with a simple yes or no. They are tricky, so answer carefully. Tom - Talk 20:34, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

1. Is it okay to use the benefit of ones ability to see from a particular point of view to correct a bias that had been thiterto unnoticed as long as one does it with respect and according to good ettiquete?
FM: Yes
Red: Yes
2. Is it okay to use the benefit of ones ability to see from a particular point of view to correct a bias that had been thiterto unnoticed if one does not adhere to community standards of respect and ettiquette?
FM: No
Red: No
3. Is it okay to guard articles from the insertion of points-of-view?
FM: No/Depends
Red: Yes--if the guarded against point-of-view does not accurately represent the scatter and clustering of documented scholarly POVs on the subject. But no unilateral guarding.
Tom: No, but question is unclear.
4. Is it okay to watch that articles don't start to favor a particular point of view by their words, sentences, structure, title, or grouping?
FM: Yes
Red: Yes
5. Is it generally okay to notice that articles favor a particular, non-exclusive point of view by their words, sentences, structure, title, or grouping, and to try to correct that?
FM: Yes
Red: Yes
6. Is it okay to pursue elimination of bias against the will of other editors?
FM: No/Depends
Red: Yes
Tom: No
7. Does a point of view have to be proven or scientific to be included?
FM: No
Red: No
8. Are we required to represent all significant points of view that are brought to our attention?
FM: Yes
Red: Yes

Well. I have to say I am surprised by the answer to number 3. I was certain Red would say no and FM would say yes. 6 is not a surprise. Do you mind some followup questions?

9. Is it okay to guard articles from characterizing significant points of view?
FM: No/Depends
Red: No
10. Is it okay to guard articles from insertions that make the article take a stand?
FM: No/Depends
Red: Yes. If the "stand" does not accurately represent the clustering and scatter in documented scholarly POVs--but no unilateral guarding.
Tom: Yes/Mandatory
11. Is it okay to minimize disruptions to a group of articles by dealing at length with a "pesky" point of view in one article and then simply nodding to that article when necessary?
FM: Yes
Red: Yes
12. Is it okay to get into an edit war with one or two other editors?
FM: No
Red: No. But often rapid iteration of progressing versions may "look" like an edit war to someone who does not want the POV of the page to change
13. Is it okay to make an edit that you know to be provocative after, say, 1 month of silence on an article if you are aware that what you are doing is against the peace that was made one month before?
FM: No
Red: No. Not on the page. But it is important to support other editors with valid views who challenge the status quo in the Talk pages.
14: If you can't get your concerns addressed to your satisfaction, is it ever okay (given the right conditions) to add an NPOV dispute unilaterally to a page?
FM: No/with exceptions
Red: No. The options must be discussed in the Talk pages.
15: If you can't get your concerns addressed to your satisfaction, is it always okay (no questions asked) to add an NPOV dispute unilaterally to a page?
FM: No
Red: No

---

First of all, I suggest that we all take a long weekend. :)

Then I will have some questions. I am learning a lot from you two. You know a lot. It is a pleasure. We seem to see largely eye-to-eye, except that:
  • Red says its okay to pursue elimination of bias against the will of other editors. He also says articles can be guarded against insertion of non-significant (non-"documented") points of view.
  • FM says must not guard against articles "taking a stand"; they can take a stand.
  • Tom says articles must be guarded from "taking a stand"; they can't take a stand.
Does this summarize our whole dispute? It looks too easy. Tom - Talk 15:15, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)
A preview of allegations at Rednblu's request[edit]

To Mr. Monk: I'm still looking for an easy solution that does not waste everyone's else time. Let me ask you, Mr. Monk, the following if I may. You may reply or not as you wish. I promise that I will only read and not find fault with your response.

  • What is it that you are afraid I will do in the future? I will see if, within my understanding of the duties of NPOV, I could keep from doing what it is that you are afraid I will do. ---Rednblu 04:58, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

Since I first stated my terms to settle this matter you have since admitted to misrepresenting yourself on wikipedia. What I want from you is what all wikipedians expect of each other- honesty and responsibility. Since you have already admitted you have violated the former, it's time now for the latter here. In light of your recent admission of misleading the entire community about what your actual beliefs and POV are, I must add to my list of requirements for settlement that you drop all pretense related to your Rednblu online persona while here on wikipedia and honestly represent what it is that you (as RMS, not Rednblu) actually believes. That would mean that you would have to remove from your own pages here the phrases stating or implying that you are an atheist, supporter of evolution, etc., and cease misrepresenting your position in debates and discussions, e.g.; you've now got Rayment insisting you're a supporter of evolution and an atheist. Doesn't that bother you at all? It does me, and that is part of what wikipedia needs to see stop.--FeloniousMonk 19:54, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

FM, Red said on my user page that what you see is what you get. Rednblu = RMS. Why are you reading that opposite? Better ask Philip or others about it. I think Red is confirming that he really is an atheist. Tom - Talk 21:23, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I have seen nothing to suggest that Rednblu is a creationist, closet or otherwise. Some (not many) evolutionists are open-minded enough to accept that creationism deserves a fair go, and that is what I see Rednblu arguing. And I see FeloniousMonk claiming that Rednblu is a creationist purely because Rednblu is not acting like a typical evolutionist in giving creationists a fair go. I have on more than one occasion seen an evolutionist call another evolutionist a creationist simply because the latter evolutionist was proposing something that dared to question evolutionary orthodoxy. I heard of a case just the other day, and I remarked at the time that it seems that to call someone a creationist is about the worst insult you can make to an evolutionist. I'm not suggesting that FeloniousMonk is using the term to insult, but I do believe that he is calling Rednblu a creationist simply because Rednblu is not acting like a typical evolutionist, and he cannot comprehend that. Philip J. Rayment 16:57, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)
This is an oblique ad hominem: "I'm not saying that FeloniousMonk is using the term to insult..." Sure, you're not going to say it, you're just going to suggest it. I'm surprised Hawstom countenances rhetorical devices like this from you and Rednblu as much as he has. If you're going to make an allegation, have the guts to say it outright. And before you go labeling me an "evolutionist," be prepared to show where I have ever made a statement that would warrant the label. You can't, because I am not. When I have endorsed evolution, it's because if I have to be so characterized, I am a rationalist, not an evolutionist. I'll always argue from the position that whatever explanation best fits the evidence and does not require a leap of faith is the one that should be considered valid; at this time on the subject being discussed that would be evolution. This does not make me an evolutionist. When someone can show within the terms rationalism that invisible pink unicorns are a more probable explanation for our origin, I'll accept it.--FeloniousMonk 18:24, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
It wasn't intended as an ad hominem. The comment in the previous sentence that some use the term to insult could have been read as though I was suggesting that of you, so I wanted to make clear that I was not suggesting it of you. If you want me to make it clearer, I will say here that I have no reason to believe that you were using the term with the intention to insult. My definition of evolutionist is one that believes goo-to-you evolution to be true, and I believe you qualify by that definition, whatever the reason you have for doing so. And for the record, I believe that creation better fits the evidence, and that evolution requires leaps of faith every bit as much as creation, if not more so. Philip J. Rayment 23:08, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I have to confess out of a spirit of disclosure and good faith (though it may frustrate FM and cause him to doubt this forum) that Phillip above essentially expresses my point of view on Rednblu. FM may think Rednblu has us all buffaloed, which may be true. I don't know what to do about that other than what I have been doing, which is to inquire diligently into the matter. As for NPOV policy (the matter currently at hand), Rednblu has convinced me strongly that he has an uncommon grasp of its spirit and implementation, though I am beginning to think maybe Rednblu could apply it with perhaps a little more respect and gentleness (less apparent energy and enthusiasm). Tom - Talk 15:50, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
An uncommon grasp? His view of NPOV spirit and implementation is little different than yours or mine based on your own test and statements above. How can it then be uncommon? Your choice of words seems less than objective here, and could be construed to indicate a sympathy for one party.
Additionally, it's not his understanding of the NPOV policies that prompted allegations, it's his behavior on wikipedia Talk pages. How is it that can you proclaim a POV position regarding whether or not Rednblu has committed specific NPOV violations when you haven't even read the allegations or evidence yet? Perhaps it's time to post the specific allegations.--FeloniousMonk 18:04, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
My apologies, FM. It was only fair that I should disclose my bias. And I am glad I did so that you could point out some problems to me. Do you think at this point we are in enough agreement about what NPOV requires that we can discuss allegations, then? You could go ahead of course. But above, you and I appeared to disagree about articles "taking a stand". Should we be agreed on that, or is it trivial? And Red disagreed with both of us in that it was "okay to pursue elimination of bias against the will of other editors." Is this trivial enough that we can proceed? Tom - Talk 20:26, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Back to NPOV policy by Rednblu[edit]

I suggest we have made great progress here. But I hasten to add that we are only half-way to our goal of stating good faith and NPOV policy in enough detail that we could resolve the allegations well enough that our work here on Wikipedia can proceed according to good faith and NPOV policy. For example, we need good faith and NPOV policy to be stated in enough detail that we can judge whether P1 or P2 have abused good faith or NPOV policy in the following exchange.

<Argument 1 = A1>
"Perhaps, the Wikipedia community would like to encourage the scientists in winning the competition over what definition of theory is allowed within Wikipedia... Above you argue that the Wikipedia community should declare that "Creationism should then have to meet the same standard as science." But I suggest that declaring the monopoly outcome for science over control of the word and definition of theory would be fatal in trying to put together an accurate and truthful encyclopedia." ---<Participant 1 = P1>
<Argument 2 = A2>
That's singularly threadbare and ignoble reasoning. Not exactly in the spirit of wikipedia now, is it? Trying to make this out as a competition and that scientists here are trying to make a power grab is a shabby and intellectually vacuous tactic. You used the same ploy in your creationist campaign at talk.origins and alt.atheism and it didn't work there, what makes you think it's going to work here? You and the proponents of creationism are the ones seeking to redefine the term and change the article, not us, we are satisfied as it is. Those here you call "scientists" are not asking for the article to be changed, you are. You've been flooding this debate with every form of specious notion to find an angle, and barring that now you're stooping to new lows. Your POV campaign here isn't able to make the case so you try to tar your opponents... Nice! ---<Participant 2 = P2>

I am not suggesting that in this policy section that we find either P1 or P2 guilty; this is only a policy section. But we need the policy detail that we could judge whether P1 or P2 is guilty. I am suggesting that we need to determine NPOV policy here in this section in enough detail that we can find either P1 or P2 guilty in the Allegations section that will follow. Similarly, in the good faith policy section above, we have yet to define good faith policy in enough detail that we can judge whether P1 or P2 are guilty of violating good faith in the above exchange--when we come to the corresponding good faith Allegations section. Hence, I will discuss here only the unresolved NPOV policy questions; the analogous good faith questions I will list in the above good faith policy section--when that section is Open again.

Accordingly, the kinds of questions we need to answer here are questions like the following:

  1. Is it okay on Talk:Pages to use such words as "winning the competition over ..." if at least two participants in the discussion have expressed the opinion that POV1 has won the competition over POV2 to the detriment of the quality of a Wikipedia Page?
  2. Is it okay on Talk:Pages to characterize the struggle as a "competition" between the scientists and non-scientists over the Wikipedia definitions of words if the Wikipedia definition does not accurately reflect the spread and clustering of definitions of the published scholarly positions on the definition of the word W?
  3. Is it okay on Talk:Pages to repeatedly characterize the above struggle as a "competition"?
  4. Is it okay to state a controversy on a User:Page, such as the controversies stated on User:Rednblu?
  5. Is it okay to state a POV on the User:Page that some scientists find hard to believe?
  6. Is it okay to refuse to offer proof that the POV on the User:Page is accurate?
  7. Is it okay on Talk:Pages to make the argument "You used the same ploy in your creationist campaign at talk.origins and alt.atheism and it didn't work there, what makes you think it's going to work here?"
  8. Is it okay on Talk:Pages to refer to alleged arguments made outside Wikipedia as a "ploy in your creationist campaign"?
  9. Is it okay on Talk:Pages to repeatedly refer to an alleged "creationist campaign"?
  10. Is it okay on Talk:Pages to repeatedly refer to the POV expressed on another's User:Page as "mendacious"?
  11. Is it okay to refrain from stating the Wikipedia editor's personal POV on the User:Page but rather state "This space available... imagine your banner here. Contact me (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:FeloniousMonk) for my low monthly rates." as exemplified by the User:FeloniousMonk page?
  12. Is it okay to offer the POV on a User:Page for rent?

I offer the above questions as examples of the questions that we have yet to answer so that we can assess the NPOV allegations that will follow. I am sure Tom can think of more accurate and more gentle questions that get at the gist of the work that we still must do on NPOV policy before we can judge the allegations that will follow. ---Rednblu 15:40, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

I strongly disagree with some of these characterizations you make here; I only feel that one deserves a reply, and only because it is so ludicrous. The fact you make the characterizations and the manner in which they are made is proof enough I feel of the allegation of mendaciousness on your part. And it's was not your POV that I say is mendacious, but your actions.

I refuse to believe that you are so humorless as to not recognize the obvious little pun on my User page; so why are you interjecting it here? My User page remains largely blank because I don't believe in puffery, and I've not enough pages I'm editing/watching yet to warrant dedicating it to listing them.

I also disagree that "we are only half-way to our goal of stating good faith and NPOV policy in enough detail" as you state. They are both fully and sufficiently articulated in the existing wikipedia policies, which I have cited here many times and rely upon solely. Since the NPOV policy as it is "absolute and non-negotiable", any attempt to restate it here violates the spirit of that policy. Again, I think this is a tactic on your part to cynically manipulate this proceeding and is intended to wear us down. You tried the same tactic in Talk:Creationism to refactor the debate, in essence shifting the ground beneath peoples feet to favor your POV, and it resulted in the allegations here. Looking at Tom's reply below they may be working here as well. I strongly object to tactics like this anywhere, they are precisely what I meant when I accuse you of being mendacious and disingenuous, and they have no place wikipedia.--FeloniousMonk 19:25, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Tom proposes a peace plan[edit]

One difficulty I am beginning to have is that the questions we are starting to address are in that blurry area between what is okay and what is wise. For example, if it is okay to characterize a struggle as a "competition" or to refer to a POV as "mendacious", does that mean it is wise? A religious adage from my childhood says, "...I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them." I can comment on the wisdom of the various scenarios, but I think Red and FM are capable, with enough sincere introspection, of judging for themselves. I am therefore a little hesitant to try to "number" all the nuances of policy. I suppose it is obvious that a liberal application of wikilove by both parties could help resolve this dispute speedily, but that the current dynamic has put up some hedges in the way of wikilove. Therefore I am going to be bold and make some early recommendations to remove those hedges:

  • Agree to avoid struggling with any articles in the Evolutionism/Creationism area, and any hotly disputed articles in general, unless there are enough participants and POVs to form consensus. This is my personal goal. I note that the teams I have worked with on the two great successes I have seen so far in my brief Wikitenure have been varied and large, as listed on my User:Hawstom page. If a team is lopsided on your side or on the enemy's, recruit more input.
  • Agree to close this user page discussion and move it back to article talk.
  • Use WP:RFC liberally, but wisely. Put up requests for comment when an article is troublesome and needs the benefit of more POVs and minds. Rather than recruiting support, recruit input. Phrase those requests in terms of a sincere struggle toward NPOV.

Any takers? Tom - Talk 18:24, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

I'm considering your suggestion and will respond at length shortly, but based on Rednblu's recent tactics above almost making my case for mendaciousness for me, I'm inclined to think that something stronger than wikilove needs to be done to check such behavior. I think that is pretty obvious, and that for your suggestion to work it would need some teeth.--FeloniousMonk 19:25, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

In my opinion, mutual agreements in the direction of the three items above are very easy. But also in my opinion, we should recognize that progress sometimes requires "heat," and progress sometimes requires the kind of "heat" that looks like the "struggle" of which Mr. Monk complains.

It seems to me, the progression of arguments, discussion, and summary statements at the end of the page of which Mr. Monk complains is real progress in defining the spread and clustering of scholarly POVs outside Wikipedia on several very important issues. But progress is a subjective measure; each person judges progress from their own POV. In any case, it is up to the Wikipedia community 1) whether that is "real progress" and 2) whether whatever progress that is there is worth the time it has taken to attempt to salve Mr. Monk's and others' very real indignation at the process by which all participants reached that progress--whatever progress that is there. ---Rednblu 22:28, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Other editors involved during clashes[edit]

Both of you please consider this question; maybe answer it. How many other (and which) editors have been seriously involved in working on the articles where and when the two of you have clashed most stressfully? Tom - Talk 20:21, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

Additional editors have participated on either side of each topic.

Talk:Creationism

Creationist POV:

Scientific POV:


Talk:Intelligent Design

Intelligent Design POV:

Scientific POV:

--FeloniousMonk 21:14, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

From my perspective, any POV labels to the work all of us did would be inaccurate and irrelevant. To Mr. Monk's list above, I would add the following editors who worked with Mr. Monk and me in negotiating, arguing, tugging, and pulling the POVs to appear on Creationism and Intelligent design during the time of the allegations.

From the History files of Creationism and Talk:Creationism.

From the History files of Intelligent design and Talk:Intelligent design

---

Rednblu's list presented here is misleading; only a small fraction of those on Rednblu's list participated substantively or at all in discussions on the Talk pages for Talk:Creationism/What_is_wrong_with_the_lead_section and Talk:Intelligent_design#Falsification which are the pages relevant to the allegations. A review of those pages will show that the users on my list are the ones who actually participated in discussions where Rednblu and myself were present, and the labels I present accurately reflect the nature of their positions argued.--FeloniousMonk 06:46, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I reject that "the labels [you] present accurately reflect the nature of their positions argued". First, I reject that Rednblu was arguing from the POV of creationism or intelligent design. He was arguing from the POV of an evolutionist trying to write a fair article. Second, I reject that "Creationism" and "Intelligent Design" are the opposites of "Scientific". It is merely a POV that they are opposite, and it is not one that I share.
Philip J. Rayment 16:06, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

Let me give two simple examples of the rather complex problem-solving system in which, from my point-of-view, Mr. Monk and Rednblu were but minor pawns of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.

  • Steinsky is on my Creationism and Talk:Creationism list, though not on Mr. Monk's list, because it was Steinsky who "restructured/refactored" the "What is wrong with the lead section" section of Talk:Creationism into a separate underlying page. And in this action it was Steinsky who replaced the ramble that Mr. Monk and Rednblu had created in trying to characterize the scatter and clustering in scholarly POVs regarding the definition of "theory." Hence I would suggest that the Wikipedia community should know User talk:Steinsky's view of whether or not Mr. Monk or Rednblu transgressed Wikipedia standards in their little tiff that created these allegations.
  • User:Mortene is on my list, though not on Mr. Monk's list, because it was Mr. Mortene and the anonymous 195.70.48.245 who inserted the Serbian data over which Mr. Monk and Rednblu developed differing opinions--which differing opinions led to Mr. Monk's wrongful allegations. Hence I would suggest that the Wikipedia community should know User talk:Mortene's view of whether or not Mr. Monk or Rednblu transgressed Wikipedia standards in their little tiff that created these allegations.

Generally, I would suggest there were would be no practical use for inviting in more input or more points-of-view to the evolution of the Creationism, Talk:Creationism, Intelligent design, and Talk:Intelligent design pages. There were already 25 of the right people already there in both of those conversations long before Mr. Monk joined them. Mr. Monk was of course welcome, but his POV is only his POV--might I respectfully submit for consideration. Doesn't the documented scholarly POV that Mortene and 195.70.48.245 submitted count for anything against Mr. Monk's POV?

So here is my question for Mr. Monk. Why can't you and I just allow each other's POV be each other's POV without trying to change them? ---Rednblu 07:51, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

Again, on the pages and sections that are relevant to these allegations, specifically Talk:Creationism/What_is_wrong_with_the_lead_section and Talk:Intelligent_design#Falsification, those on my list are the only ones participating in the discussion; you are drawing your list of participants from peripheral discussions not relevant to the allegations. If all these others you claim participated in the specific relevant pages and sections I provided, then why is it in the summary statement area you created here:[7] the list of those you yourself created only contains those in my list? The one exception is Hob Gadling who added himself later to your summary section and did not substantively participate in discussions.

In response to your question, I am not trying to change other's POVs, no objective person reading my posts on those pages would conclude that I am. I was merely trying to make the case that the existing content as found in the articles accurately reflects reality and is factually correct against your constant vexatious mantra that the articles are the product of "bigoted scientists" using "bait and switch" and "not civilized." It was you who was trying to change the articles and minds there, not me. I was defending the orthox POV and phrasing.--FeloniousMonk 20:21, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

I do not oppose your explanations and interpretations; they are yours. :) And I respect them. Is it all right with you that I have very different explanations and interpretations; they are mine? :) ---Rednblu 21:01, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

I respect every wikipedia editor's right to hold their own views, as long as those views do not extend to misstating or mis-characterizing my views or misrepresenting their own.

In a very real sense all views are created equal, but when it comes to constituting propositional knowledge, some views are more equal than others.--FeloniousMonk 21:13, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

Tom's second iteration peace plan[edit]

Here is my POV on directions to go:

  • Ideal Go back to work, no questions asked, if both of you agree.
  • Nearly ideal Go back to work under the admonition of "Be on your best behavior; we will be watching you," I for one (and hopefully another experienced and impartial Wikipedian with secular leanings) could keep a close eye on the proceedings and opine occasionally so as to be more realistically aware of the dynamic at play. I truly think this would be nearly ideal at this time. Perhaps we could require that the two of you notify the two peace facilitators of any page where you come into contact. This only if both of you agree.
  • If required by either Both of you agree to retire to personal e-mails with me for a time to clarify via mediation some meanings, facts, and positions absent the personal dynamic. Then return to this format.
  • If both desire Go to mediation. Tom - Talk 21:04, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • If no agreement on above Continue this format.

Tom - Talk 16:35, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

First off thank you for your efforts here Tom, I recognize that it has been personally challenging to you and your work is appreciated. I am weighing all options presented here, but considering my previous experience with Rednblu in the article Talk pages and what I've seen in here recently, as well as what is found on the usenet of his, I'm inclined to reject the "Ideal" solution as not being in the best interest of wikipedia. I also want to make the point that there still remains the option of formal wikipedia dispute resolution, and so any solution that we agree to should be binding on Rednblu to follow the wikipedia policies, with the knowledge that I retain the right to seek a formal proceeding if any of the following are seen:

  1. refactoring Talk pages in a manner inconsistent with policy,
  2. resurrecting topics previously settled,
  3. repeated mendacious debating,
  4. repeated use of biased and inflammatory language on Talk pages,
  5. and campaigning against particular groups, POVs, etc.

Further, I want to remind all here of the wikipedia policy [8] "to preserve a previous conflict history and to provide new participants with that information. The information should be unbiased at best to encourage new participants to develop their own approach of the problem. ...for example, it is best that a new participant is warned upon entering a "frequently conflictual area" that a particular individual has a specific hot point to avoid pushing." That applies directly to the refactoring of both article and user Talk pages. I don't want to see a newbie get caught up in the same tail-chasing madness that I did arguing with Rednblu over topics previously long settled.

I will reply with my decision (barring new developments) within the next day or so.--FeloniousMonk 20:56, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

FeloniousMonk Agrees To A Settlement[edit]

I've thought about this over the weekend and have selected a settlement from Tom's list that would be acceptable from my position for addressing wikipedia's policy to avoid partisan controversies. Considering the tedious nature of this proceeding and its lack of results, I am reluctant to invest any more time or effort conducted through this channel either online or offline as required by all the above solutions but one.

I'm willing to accept the "Ideal" solution with the following understanding:

  1. that I will seek a formal proceeding if Rednblu violates the following policies again:
    1. refactoring Talk pages in a manner inconsistent with policy,
    2. resurrects topics previously settled by majority consensus,
    3. engages in mendacious, repetitive debating,
    4. uses biased and inflammatory language on Talk pages.
  2. that the conflict history will be retained and available on the relevant Talk pages as is consistant with the wikipedia policy: "to preserve a previous conflict history and to provide new participants with that information. The information should be unbiased at best to encourage new participants to develop their own approach of the problem. ...for example, it is best that a new participant is warned upon entering a "frequently conflictual area" that a particular individual has a specific hot point to avoid pushing." This means that new editors can be warned by other editors.

I acknowledge that these conditions equally apply to myself, as well. Considering flaws I see in the other solutions and the enjoinder for good faith in maintaining the spirit of wikipedia, I feel that this solution is best for wikipedia as long as wikipolicies are respected.--FeloniousMonk 22:15, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Rednblu agrees to a settlement[edit]

I accept the "Ideal" solution with the following understanding:

  1. Mr. Monk or anyone else on Wikipedia can seek a formal proceeding should they think it in the best interests of Wikipedia.
  2. Mr. Monk can preserve the conflict history on the relevant Talk pages however he would like to do that subject to approval by the rest of the Wikipedia community. ---Rednblu | Talk 20:20, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Tom agrees this effort is closed[edit]

It looks like we have then satisfied the Wikipidia requirement to attempt to resolve concerns here before going to mediation, though of course we all hope mediation doesn't follow. Tom - Talk 20:49, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Some follow-up opened by Tom[edit]

A Wikipedian I respect (having passed through some mutual struggle) offered the following reality check on Wikipedia policy which I want you to keep in mind: Tom - Talk

  • there is no policy on refactoring, it's a style guide
  • Re: "resurrects topics previously settled by majority consensus" this is actually permitted and encouraged
  • Re: "engages in ... repetitive debating" this is permitted and encouraged, as long as it is done to achieve consensus. [I removed the word mendacious because I don't believe it was intended in the comment -Tom].
  • Re: "uses biased and inflammatory language on Talk pages" this is permitted to a degree on talk pages, though people are encouraged to try to remain civil
  • I do find Rednblu to be a bit argumentative at times

In short, I would earnestly encourage that Rednblu be a little more gentle and kind with people who seem to be getting "inflammed". And I would earnestly encourage that Felonious Monk be a little more patient and generous with people who seem to be behaving badly. Tom - Talk 20:03, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

---

I appreciate your friend's "reality check", but I rely only on what I read on wikipedia policy (and style guide) pages. When the refactoring page reads: "Do not try to refactor a discussion where you have a strong point of view. The summarised version needs to reflect the original meaning, and this may be obscured by your own biases." I take it seriously and literally, and it's only reasonable that others are expected to do so as well. I think we can all agree that continual, repetitive ideological axe-grinding is not permitted and encouraged.--FeloniousMonk 19:29, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Point well taken. Whether a policy or a style guide, your simple point, I am sure, is that it is important to respect other editors, including in the way discussions are "factored". I would earnestly encourage that Rednblu be a little more respectful of other editors' time and sensitivities. And I would earnestly encourage that Felonious Monk be a little more patient and generous with people who seem to be behaving badly. Tom - Talk 21:04, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Discussion of allegations by policy[edit]

Discuss here the allegations regarding each policy. Rednblu, please present your point of view.

Good Faith allegations (adjourned)[edit]

The allegation has been made that Rednblu has misrepresented his himself and his agenda on wikipedia. Rednblu is apparently the same "Rednblu" who has a long history of pro-religion, pro-creationism, anti-science/scientist rants on the usenet dating to at least 1996, much of it made in the talk.origins, alt.fan.publibus, and alt.atheism use groups.

A Google groups search for "rednblu" returns approximately 10,200 hits. Reading the substance of his usenet posts shows a clear pro-religion, pro-creationism, anti-science agenda. Further reading of responses of usenet denizens to rednblu shows a wide-spread dislike of his posting and arguing tactics and blatant agenda pushing.[9]

That Rednblu has acted in bad faith on wikipedia is not difficult to see considering his extensive usenet history and campaign that he conveniently fails to disclose anywhere or acknowledge on wikipedia, his mild claims of being a supporter of evolution while consistently making the Creationist argument here and here, and his intentionally using inflammatory statements, choosing terms like "bigoted scientists" as seen here and here. Taken in total with his continually resurrecting previously settled NPOV topics, constant restructuring/refactoring of Talk pages to favor his POV here and here, and flooding Talk pages with long, drawn-out off topic debates, the allegation of Rednblu violating the wikipedia Good Faith policy is well-founded.--FeloniousMonk 04:33, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)


<<His disingenuousness and misleading statements are proof of not participating in Good Faith and against the policies.--FeloniousMonk 04:06, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)>>

First of all, thank you all for being here. It is an honor, my friends all.

Second, my user page represents my personal-point-of-view--unless somebody else has changed it since I last read it. :)

Third, I often make arguments that disagree with my personal-point-of-view as represented on User:Rednblu when, in my opinion, I have detected that another Wikipedia participant has expressed a valid and useful encyclopedic point-of-view that has been squashed by the Wikipedia process. Generally, I will guess at what the suppressed, in my opion, participant was trying to say and state it or ask a friendly question to get someone to make a clear statement of the "suppressed" opinion. So, please do not be surprised if I argue molecular biology points of view on Mitochondrial Eve and support creationist points-of-view on Creationism.

I would be glad to address any other issues that anybody suggests would improve the quality of Wikipedia. ---Rednblu 00:26, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Red, we skipped a step. Let us go back up to the top. Please do not continue this section until resolved above. Tom - Talk 05:11, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I think we could solve the good faith allegations quite simply, thus
Rednblu, are you a creationist?
--81.157.101.101 21:55, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
It should be that easy, shouldn't it? But to make a long story short, we have parsed words very carefully, and on my user talk page, Rednblu has asserted facts that, if true, indicate what you see is what you get. Tom - Talk 21:58, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Copyright infringement allegations (adjourned)[edit]

In the Creationism article, Rednblu reposted previously removed content from the BBC that directly violates the BBC's published terms and conditions policyand wikipedia's own policy. When informed of this he repeatedly refused to remove or wikify the content.

Specifically, Rednblu

  1. ignored the existing BBC terms and conditions covering content reuse,
  2. linked to BBC copyrighted works against the BBC's published Terma and Conditions,
  3. posted on wikipedia passages lifted directly verbatim from a BBC article in violation of the BBC's published Terms and Conditions,
  4. failed to request a release from the BBC, as called for by both the BBC's published T&C's and wikipolicy,
  5. failed to rewrite the protected content in a manner that accommodates fair use as described in wikipedia's own policy.

The BBC's published terms and conditions constitutes an agreement that Rednblu violates: "In accessing the BBC's web pages, you agree that you may only download the content for your own personal non-commercial use." and "You are not permitted to copy, broadcast, download, store (in any medium), transmit, show or play in public, adapt or change in any way the content of these BBC web pages for any other purpose whatsoever without the prior written permission of the BBC." Wikipedia's own policy directs users to follow the terms and conditions and copyright policies of all reference sources, placing Rednblu in violation of wikipolicy as well.

Rednblu's refusal to act within the copyright policy has resulted in my filing the page for copyright review:

*Creationism from [10], [11] and [12] against published terms and conditions of telegraph.co.uk and BBC. User:Rednblu has been warned but refuses to rewrite or remove BBC/TelegraphUK T&D-covered content.--FeloniousMonk 23:25, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

--FeloniousMonk 05:01, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)


<<"After a deluge of protest from scientists, teachers and opposition parties," says the BBC report, Ms. Colic's deputy made the statement, "I have come here to confirm Charles Darwin is still alive," and announced that the decision was reversed. [13]>>

In my opinion, under British Law, specifically the Copyright, Design and Patents Act (1988) (CDPA) § 29-30, since the exact quotation is less than 5% of the original BBC report, it is the Wikipedia editor's right to copy exactly what is in that particular sentence of "criticism, review and news reporting" in the Creationism article, as is summarized for your convenience on the Fair dealing page.

If anyone has any other issues that would improve Wikipedia, I would be glad to address them here. ---Rednblu 00:34, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Let's please adjourn this section until the above is resolved. Tom - Talk 05:16, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

NPOV allegations (future)[edit]

Defer until first two resolved. Tom - Talk 00:02, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Permanent links to the discussions that Mr. Monk admired :))[edit]

The following links are provided to the "permanent" archives of Talk:Creationism

SubPages that were split out by User:Steinsky at this edit

User:Steinsky's move of contested summaries to the subpage is at this link.

Complete archive with subpages copied back to their original positions is at this link on the SockPuppet User:Logic hammer's allegations.

Thanks:)![edit]

i really appreciate the tips, encouragement, and collaborative efforts -- we'll clean this mess up soon enough:). Ungtss 20:06, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Help:([edit]

i just got into a tussle with cheesedreams, and i don't know what to do. he proposed the "account(s)" article for speedy deletion, despite having no basis for it in policy. you can't imagine how sorry i am for overreacting to the "charges" against you. i had no idea people could be so ideologically driven. i think i'm also beginning to learn why you are much more diplomatic and gradual in the changes you propose -- to avoid inciting anger. can you help me get outta this mess? what should i do? is there any background i should be made aware of? it's cool if you don't wanna get involved -- just thought i'd ask:). Ungtss 23:28, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Conversations with Mr. JoshuaSchroeder[edit]

<<Copied from User talk:Joshuaschroeder >>


Evolution is not a "fact"?[edit]

To take another example, [by your line of reasoning] it would be impossible to call "gravity" a fact. One could point to any observation and claim that gravity is the "cause" for the fact rather than the fact itself. However, this isn't the way physicists refer to gravity at all. Rather, gravity is the collection of observations and models that describe said observations that allow for physical predictions. Gravity is a "fact" because it is observed. Likewise with evolution.

Joshuaschroeder 23:14, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • In my arguments with creationists I have not gotten very far in arguing that evolution is fact. 8)) In contrast, I have no problem in getting agreement from the creationists that gravitation is fact. What convinces the creationists about the "fact" of gravitation is the Torsion bar experiment--in the modern versions you can see the laser beam deflect to a greater angle as one mass is moved toward the other! It is dramatically convincing. I have tried to design an equivalent demonstration of evolution, but none of the ideas I have come up with so far have the same inescapable quality of demonstrating evolution as "fact." Let me give you a short list of the designs that do not have the convincing quality of the Torsion bar experiment.
    1. Cancer. Observe the cancer cells mutate and become a different species altogether. <<What is missing from this "demonstration" is mutation to become something "better" that becomes able to fend and multiply for itself in the wild--outside the host. Let's not turn this experiment loose on high-school students I hope!>>
    2. Drosophila mutations and speciation. <<Again the mutations I know about are still Drosophila.>>
    3. Genome comparisons of S. cerevisiae, A. thaliana, C. elegans, D. melanogaster, M. musculus, P. troglodytes, P. paniscus, H. sapiens . . . This would convince me. But it does not have that crucial convincing quality of the Torsion bar experiment--of making the laser beam deflect dramatically to a greater angle when you bring the second mass closer to the first.
    4. So I am still looking for a demonstration of evolution that would have the "watch it happen in real-time" convincing quality of the Torsion bar experiment. 8)) Wish me luck! 8))
  • If we had a "watch it happen in real-time" demonstration of evolution, then I think we could claim that evolution is "fact." We could then say, "Look numbskull. Don't you believe your eyes? What you see there has all the qualities of every valuable fact that you see in your everyday life! If you see it happen, what you see is fact. You might balk at agreeing to explanations for what you see--but at least what you see must be fact. You saw what you saw--that is fact."
  • Even so, even for the X processes, such as gravitation, for which we have "watch it happen in real-time" demonstrations, it seems to me to be a bad idea to beat somebody over the head with "X is fact." After all, there is something wrong with how we are looking at gravitation--because, if we looked at it right, we likely would see the unified theoretical relationship between gravity and electromagnetism. And somebody will win the Nobel Prize in the future by uniting the field theories of gravity and electromagnetism--by disproving some "fact" that you and I hold today about gravity.
  • Since the scientific method is inductive, it is wise for us to play down the conclusion of "THIS is fact." That is, I would much rather have a clear falsifiable hypothesis than I would a master "fact" that explained all the little facts of induction. Let me give you an example. Rather than the master "fact" of F=ma, I would rather have the hypothesis in falsifiable form, such as "To falsify, find some situation in which, applying a constant force to an object over time will produce a steadily decreasing acceleration." For, if I keep formulating falsifiable hypotheses instead of a master "fact" that explains all the little facts of induction, I get clues, such as suggestions about high velocity conditions, for constructing the experiment that will give me the data--the real "facts"--the little facts of induction--that will inform me how to improve my falsifiable hypothesis. Does that make sense?
  • I appreciated your essay. And I hope that my reply has made it worth your time to write the probing essay that you left for me. 8)) ---Rednblu | Talk 05:44, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

---

The problem here is that there is substantively nothing different between macroevolution and microevolution except for the scales involved. Thus, to claim that evolution is not a fact is really a claim that macroevolution is not a fact, which is a basic denial of universality once again.

To extend the analogy of gravity further, it would be like someone accepting the Eötvös experiment you listed on my talkpage as evidence for "microgravity", but rejecting "gravity" (or "macrogravity", if you will) as the reason for orbits because they disbelieve those scales (both in time and space).

Joshuaschroeder 18:54, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • Maybe. We are hypothesizing here about how people think.
  • I think you mean "uniformitarianism" rather than universality. Am I right?
  • Uniformitarianism seems to come quite easily to a person who spends a lot of time doing science. And uniformitarianism in space seems to come quite easily to educated people generally, even non-scientists.
  • But uniformitarianism in time seems to be hard for creationists to grasp. Creationists generally see "modern times" as different from "barbaric" times--the "state of grace" times as radically different from the "sinner" times. So the Bush Administration cannot see that, from uniformitarianism principles, Bush II is little different from the other Holy Christian Crusader tyrants that whipped the Muslim world for the glory of God. 8))
  • Accordingly, I would hypothesize that you could convince the creationists of the "fact" of evolution for any "fact" that you could demonstrate over and over today whether it is microevolution or macroevolution--including whatever uniformitarianism extensions you may require for your "fact" in space.
  • But uniformitarianism in time runs counter to non-scientific nature and human common sense. Thus, to the non-scientist, it is unfair for you to claim something as fact that you cannot demonstrate in real-time. If you have evidence in real-time, that evidence is fact. You and I understand that uniformitarianism in time implies that we evolved from the ancestors of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, given the known mutation patterns in the known genomes and proteomes. However, non-scientists have a problem with uniformitarianism in time. ---Rednblu | Talk 21:37, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

---

So, to come back to the analogy, why should the creationist believe that gravity existed before they were born? If there is no universality of physical laws to imply that observed mechanisms today acting in the past account for the state of the universe today, what replaces this? How can such a replacement be used to define "fact" independent of empiricism?

In other words, how can we say it is wrong to call evolution a "fact" if there exists no "facts" at all?

Joshuaschroeder 22:33, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • Here is an analogy I use when arguing with creationists. In the 1930s, Enrico Fermi and others did some experiments that showed that incredible amounts of energy could be released by bombarding U-235 with neutrons. Einstein alerted President Roosevelt to the "fact" that you could make a bomb of tremendous destructive force by squeezing enough U-235 into a tight space to produce a chain reaction. Now was it a "fact" that you could make a bomb of tremendous destructive force by squeezing enough U-235 into a tight space to produce a chain reaction? Well, it wasn't yet the kind of "fact" that you could introduce into evidence in any court of law--because no one had witnessed it yet so that they could testify to it. What were "facts" were the data from the experiments that Enrico Fermi, Otto Hahn, and Fritz Strassmann had done. Among the next steps were the discoveries of "cause" that Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch did in figuring out why Enrico Fermi observed the "facts" that he did.
  • Likewise evolution is the "cause" for the "facts." And the "facts" consist of the observations on genomes and proteomes of everything from bacteria to humans, including many "facts" of shifts in genomes, proteomes, and phenotypes in creatures that have been observed in our lifetimes.
  • Is there anything wrong with you and me treating evolution as a "fact"? Nope--as long as you and I are willing to adjust our certain "facts" to conform to the new findings of empirical observations. 8)) But it is best that you and I not talk about "evolution as fact" to the creationists--because they have enough intelligence to distinguish between "facts" and the "conclusions" derived from the "facts." Our difficult job is to get the creationists to deal with reality. And using the phrase "evolution is fact" clutters the intellectual landscape by being wrong, wrong, wrong. The creationists are willing to deal with the "facts," and the "facts" are exactly what would be admissible in any court of law--the testimonial accounts of what happened. Is a fossil or a genome a testimonial account of what happened? Yes. A fossil or a genome would be "facts"--but neither a fossil nor a genome is evolution. Evolution is the "cause" for the "facts." ---Rednblu | Talk 01:59, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

---

I need to keep refering back to gravity because I think to be consistent you would have to conclude that the statement "gravity is a fact" would also have to be "wrong wrong wrong" in your formulation of "fact" as above. If you can find me a creationist who will agree that by the criteria for claiming that evolution is not a "fact", gravity is also not a "fact", then I will concede the point. But creationists are fond of selectively culling certain parts of science they find controversial when real "criticism" is leveled against science in general not on, for example, evolution in particular.

If creationists would just accept that these arguments that you outline are applicable to any scientific model be it atomic physics, chemical principles, gravity, electromagnetism, physiology, etc. then they would at least be honest. Right now they (and somehow have convinced you to as well) tread on shaky groud of selectively choosing certain criteria for parts of science and other criteria for other parts of science.

Joshuaschroeder 01:29, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • We are just trading ideas. I would not want to convince you. 8))
  • It seems to me that gravity would be quite easy to introduce as "fact" into a courtroom. For example, you might ask me to testify what I had seen in the Torsion bar experiment. Better yet, I could bring the whole Torsion bar experiment, with permission of the court, into the courtroom as a demonstration. 8)) I would enclose the whole apparatus in plexiglass to keep the courtroom air-conditioning from swaying the suspended apparatus. I would project the 1) laser beam onto the wall opposite the jury box, I would mark the 2) first position of the laser beam dot on the wall with white tape, and I would mark the 3) second position of the laser beam dot after I moved the second mass half the distance to the first all the while the jury watched. "There, you see ladies and gentlemen, the two masses attract each other and twist the torsion bar and make the laser beam deflect to dot two when I move the two masses closer together."
  • What could I introduce as "fact" about evolution? You could get my friend to testify to what he has seen in the progressive mutations of skin cells in creating a cancer colony--together with progressive "genomes" of the mutating "species." The trouble with that series of "facts" is that there is no indication of increasing capability. What I mean by "evolution" is the 5 million year process by which the ancestors of the chimpanzees would speciate into the three different species--modern chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans. What I mean by "evolution" is the development of increasing capability to deal with the environmental niche. I could introduce lots of "facts" that make "evolution" a plausible "cause" for the "facts." But I could not introduce evolution as a "fact" into the courtroom--because what every available witness has seen is "facts" that strongly indicate that humans descended from the ancestors of the chimpanzees; no one has seen it happen.
  • However, I argue at this stage, that just because the atomic bomb was not a "fact" when Einstein told Roosevelt about it does not lessen the impact; the "facts" strongly indicated that there was a tremendous atomic energy "cause" for the "facts" from Enrico Fermi's experiments. And the real question is "Where will you place your bets?" ---Rednblu | Talk 03:55, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

---

I understand that you think the emphasis is incorrectly placed when scientists refer to framework arguments as facts, but I fail to see what harm it does since there isn't a consistent alternative being offered (except, if you will accept my idea that facts don't exist at all and everything is up to interpretation).

Joshuaschroeder 00:11, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • 8))
  • I personally do not object to you claiming that "evolution is fact"--if it helps you understand and engineer your world for a good cause. But when you assert to creationists that "evolution is fact" when clearly they are right that you are using "fact" to give something a little more legitimacy than it deserves, then I object. I object because claiming that "evolution is fact" makes it more difficult for creationists to look at the actual "facts"--which are the observables and the underlying evolutionary "cause" for those "facts."
  • Of course, scientists deal with framework "facts" all the time. And scientists deal with "facts" in a very malleable fashion. "Facts" are not a catechism that we learn as conclusory "facts." Framework "facts" are provisional. For example, without thinking much about it, you or I would easily call Newton's law of gravitation a framework "fact" when we both know that it is wrong--and just a caricature of what is really happening. For example, we both know that the singularity at r=0 is nonsense. Besides for small r, we both know that even more powerful strong forces take over and, hence, Newton's law of gravitation is wrong by not describing the appropriate force field for small r. So with all of those provisional disclaimers in operation, scientists have a very malleable but very practical understanding for "facts."
  • So what makes me curious is why scientists would assert in public that "evolution is fact." It is a really embarrassing thing to do--to claim that "evolution is fact" when the audience is right in jeering. Treating "evolution as fact" has never assisted science or assisted the scientists' understanding of what evolution is. Scientists just understand "evolution" like they understand geometry. When you understand geometry, you can make up your own theorems about it, and you can prove for yourself which theorems are right and which are wrong. It is a waste of time to approach Geometry with the attitude "geometry is fact." "Evolution is fact" makes it sound like the genetics students have to learn the catechism of facts. It is not that way. It is a matter of coming to understand the "causes" so that you are creative enough to design your own experiments to generate the "facts" that you need to discover to progress. ---Rednblu | Talk 01:41, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Archive?[edit]

Your user talk page takes up 132 Kb at the moment. Goodness, folks need to scroll down for miles before they can find anything ;-)

So hmm, how about archiving your User Talk?

Here's how:

  • create a new page User_talk:Rednblu/archive1
  • Cut and paste everything to there (excepting perhaps the very most recent texts)
  • Leave a link to it here, so people can find it back.

have a nice day! Kim Bruning 00:33, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Well, hmm, I don't think anyone could reasonably object if you archive the archive at a page called "archive" ;-) It's polite to modem users and folks with ancient cranky old browsers to keep pages small-ish. It also tidies closed topics off of your talk page, so that it's easier to figure out what you still need to attend to. Since the archive is there, you can always look up old stuff again if you need to. Kim Bruning 01:12, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)\
Ok. Good idea--since you suggested it. :) ---Rednblu | Talk 01:38, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
link you will need. 63.231.25.181 19:04, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

'hero'[edit]

you are too kind :o) I used to enjoy the creative phase on Human. I think it will take another boost, but it is not too far from FA-hood now... regards, dab 14:01, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Creation and Hawstom[edit]

Red, is what you propose even possible with the software? Can we control access by user? Or are you talking about a personally monitored situation? Tom - Talk 21:04, Nov 10, 2004 (UTC)

It sounds like a good idea at first, but this method of working has been left impossible by design as well as by policy. There must be other ways to work on this! :-) Kim Bruning 21:16, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I am thinking only of a "manual" system where you come to any party's aid. That is what you do anyway. :) But in this case, I would like to make it explicit--if we need it. As User:Mpolo suggests on the Talk:Creation according to Genesis page, that /temp subpage development worked on Shroud of Turin without any formal administrative structure. But we may need some formal administrative structure in this particular situation. Does that make sense? :)) ---Rednblu | Talk 21:34, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Sistine ceiling, Michelangelo, 1512. Two paintings very close to each other separated everywhere by unpainted stone. From a dualistic perspective, both one painting and two.
Well, you are very kind, and I will hopefully be available when assistance is needed. Tom - Talk 23:33, Nov 10, 2004 (UTC)
Thank you Tom and Kim. ---Rednblu | Talk 00:07, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

What you intend to have is a violation of wikipedia's open editing policy. If you want a temporary editing space for your proposal put it on your user space. CheeseDreams 22:09, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Backroom alliances[edit]

You are not meant to make these CheeseDreams 00:17, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Many of us are interested in creating NPOV articles in Wikipedia. Care to join us.? :)) You can be part of the alliances if you would like. ::)) ---Rednblu | Talk 00:54, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
No, Wikipedia is based on open editing, not back room creations. CheeseDreams 22:13, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Just to be sure, I'm not part of any backroom alliances. I feel that everyone should cooperate on wikipedia. That's a frontroom alliance I think. ;-) Kim Bruning 02:04, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
A frontroom alliance would be one which discusses things on visible article talk pages not on user talk pages. CheeseDreams 22:13, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. That is a frontroom alliance. Yes. :) That is why we are all supposed to see all of these Talk Pages!  :)) ---Rednblu | Talk 05:00, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
How about discussing on the article talk page then, that's even more front room ;-) Kim Bruning 19:36, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Correct. Absolutely. But there are several system flaws in using TalkPages:
  1. There is no alert to the specific user to whom the message is directed.
  2. There is no way, other than tedious manual duplication, for cross-posting, such as commenting in the article talk page and simultaneously sending an alert to a particular user.
Yes there is. a) watch the page
b) send them a note on their talk page going "ive added a comment for you", if it is really important. CheeseDreams 22:13, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Would you think that a simple posting to the article page in this case would have achieved the result of getting the appropriate comment of the two Sysops that I wanted involved in this? :)) Isn't there a more important underlying issue that we should be discussing?  ;)) ---Rednblu | Talk 19:50, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I guess it might have avoided hard feelings on CheeseDreams's part and achieved the same result if you had asked me to please come take a look at such and such section on the talk page. I would gladly have popped on over. Tom - Talk 22:44, Nov 11, 2004 (UTC)
Sure. ---Rednblu | Talk 22:46, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Oh, well. Live and learn. I never would have got it right myself. Tom - Talk 22:58, Nov 11, 2004 (UTC)
Nah, just be sure you don't forget to explain on the article talk page that you did ask. Actually, if you just ask politely on the talk page, everyone will often be quite willing to let you do stuff out of politeness, and wait 'till you're done. Especially if you do it on a subpage for a while. :-) Have fun eh? Kim Bruning 20:13, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Right-oh. ---Rednblu | Talk 20:17, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Prometheus image[edit]

I fixed its PD status and gave it a good caption, though I didn't upload it. Say, I'd be part of your back-room cabal any day. --Wetman 18:43, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • Count me in also. I guess the first thing is to post all communications here in the front parlor to make sure that no one is left out!  :)) ---Rednblu | Talk 19:03, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Oh, concerning the Adam sculpture. PD on 3D is a tricky question. Angle and lighting make the image not purely documentary. Do we have to lose it? (Two questions: A. Is this sculpture just the very least bit comic? B. Is there anything about current action movies that could be termed Rococo?)

  • I was hoping that you had taken the photograph.  :) Anyway that is a great photograph, is it not? A. Comic? Yes. Wonderful storytelling. I would not say that we have to lose it. I am still looking for the source. :) B. Rococo action movies? How about that wonderful cartoon action movie -- Les Triplettes de Belleville? That was Rococo and wonderful, in my book. What do you think? ---Rednblu | Talk 05:23, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Not even a "super thin mint" is acceptable to the "no announcements" perspective?[edit]

Thanks for offering your opinion.

I've posted a reply. --DV 09:39, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Your memory[edit]

Your memory is more likely to be accurate than my comparison of edit histories. Would you be able to find the text you recently added so that we can fix the edit conflict (and consequent duplication of half the page) on Talk:Creation vs. evolution debate ? CheeseDreams 20:15, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

You've done it again!!!!
And please don't archive current discussions, I want to reply to some of the texts. CheeseDreams 21:00, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Ok. it's dealt with now. CheeseDreams

Article Licensing[edit]

Hi, I've started a drive to get users to multi-license all of their contributions that they've made to either (1) all U.S. state, county, and city articles or (2) all articles, using the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike (CC-by-sa) v1.0 and v2.0 Licenses or into the public domain if they prefer. The CC-by-sa license is a true free documentation license that is similar to Wikipedia's license, the GFDL, but it allows other projects, such as WikiTravel, to use our articles. Since you are among the top 2000 Wikipedians by edits, I was wondering if you would be willing to multi-license all of your contributions or at minimum those on the geographic articles. Over 90% of people asked have agreed. For More Information:

To allow us to track those users who muli-license their contributions, many users copy and paste the "{{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual}}" template into their user page, but there are other options at Template messages/User namespace. The following examples could also copied and pasted into your user page:

Option 1
I agree to [[Wikipedia:Multi-licensing|multi-license]] all my contributions, with the exception of my user pages, as described below:
{{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual}}

OR

Option 2
I agree to [[Wikipedia:Multi-licensing|multi-license]] all my contributions to any [[U.S. state]], county, or city article as described below:
{{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual}}

Or if you wanted to place your work into the public domain, you could replace "{{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual}}" with "{{MultiLicensePD}}". If you only prefer using the GFDL, I would like to know that too. Please let me know what you think at my talk page. It's important to know either way so no one keeps asking. -- Ram-Man (comment| talk)

Just a hello[edit]

Hey there, I just happened to flip to your user page after having scrolled through the other responses on Creation vs. evolution debate, and wanted to let you know that I found the information on Robert Ingersoll informative. I also appreciated your appreciation for Sanger. Her contraception movement really hit its stride around the 1920's I guess, and I always found it interesting because my great aunt would have been one of the young women who might have heard what she had to say. She was a country girl living on a farm; they weren't poor, but they weren't well-off either. Anyway, my point is that I remember once a few years ago, just a couple of years before she died, her mentioning the sort of birth control they used: a length of silk strategically placed. She wasn't one to talk much about these sorts of personal things, but I found it interesting that it at least was well-known enough to be the contraceptive choice of her day, at least in rural Texas. Katefan0 15:06, Dec 12, 2004 (UTC)


You make scientists look bad[edit]

And just for the record, maybe you can find the source for this: "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." Bensaccount 22:04, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

My subsequent attempt to educate you[edit]

Here is a tutorial created by the University of California Museum of Paleontology with support provided by the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.[[14]].

Thanks for restoring the Lettvin quotation...[edit]

...in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology article. Dpbsmith (talk) 02:09, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

New name for Tom[edit]

Thanks, Red. Actually I am not changing my name. My account will still be User:Hawstom, but I am using the User and talk page Tom. I would go ahead and use the account Tom, which is what I have wanted to do for a long time, but I or somebody else already registered it and I can't remember the password (or never knew it). But I finally decided that since there are no contributions for User:Tom, I would be safe to do a little friendly take-over of the space. What I need to be sure to do is make it clear at the top of the Tom pages that "These pages are owned and operated by User:Hawstom. User:Tom has no contributions."

You can't do that. -- Tim Starling 07:12, Jan 9, 2005 (UTC)
Funny way to put it, but I guess he means "that is generally frowned at around here."  :-) Tom H. 03:04, Jan 11, 2005 (UTC)

Unverified image[edit]

Thanks for uploading Image:RobertIngersoll.gif. I notice it currently doesn't have an image copyright tag. Could you add one to let us know its copyright status? (You can use {{gfdl}} if you release it under the GFDL, or {{fairuse}} if you claim fair use, etc.) If you don't know what any of this means, just let me know where you got the images and I'll tag them for you. Thanks so much, Duk 09:20, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Since the image has a cleanup tag, you might want to look at 100px for a cleaned-up version Ojw 20:06, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Wow! You guys are great! I'm not sure how I can help. I uploaded the original from the atheism site. I rather liked the blue sponge effect. But I like Mr. Ojw's clean-up better! The original photograph--before the blue sponging--appears to be the same pose as in the photograph at Robert Ingersoll. That is all I know--except for the gorgeous transcripts of Ingersoll's speeches! How can I help? ---Rednblu | Talk 00:32, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Build the web -- it's here in all it's carefully-analysed wikiness... Ojw 00:48, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Creationism NPOV tag[edit]

I'm not clear to what threshold of edit-explaining you're suggesting operating, here. My reversion, explained in the edit summary, of a completely unexplained deletion, should also have been discussed on the talk page; whereas your reversion of that reversion, didn't need any explanation, beyond noting the lack of said talk-page comment...? Alai 05:12, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Did you find any particular NPOV violations in the Creationism page? ---Rednblu | Talk 05:44, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Wasn't clear to me one way on the other; hence I felt Ungtss's silent removal of it was suspicious, to say the least. Alai 06:16, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Human[edit]

Hi Rednblu, thanks for your message. I've replied at Talk:Human. SlimVirgin 21:06, Mar 4, 2005 (UTC)

Besides the POVisation of the intro, the Spiritual section was also POvized. Now instead of humans being alternately defined as spiritual, we have spirituality as a facet of human culture. More cram-it-down-your-throat "SPOV" Scientific Point of View. And of course now culture is merely a facet of human biology. Tom Haws 06:39, Mar 15, 2005 (UTC)

Evolution not a "fact"?[edit]

Hi Rednblu,

You have made some interesting claims, but I think you should be a little more careful with them:

But the evolutionists, those who believe that evolution is fact, are deluding themselves by confusing fact with cause for the fact.
That is, just because most scientists find evolution a crucial piece in their understanding of the world does not make evolution a fact.
That standard of finding would find that creationism was fact at least until about 1850. Surely scientific fact is different from majority vote.\

This is a view of subjective reality which fails the test of universality. Either things were facts for all time or they were fiction. Just because people think things are facts do not make them facts. There exists substantive facts that science accepts because empiricism is assumed true. If empiricism is wrong, then all of science is wrong. In this way science acts as a religion.

However, it is not incorrect to say that "evolution is a fact". This is because "fact" in the scientific sense is defined to be that which is empirically observed. "The grass is green" is a fact. It isn't a cause for the fact. It is a description of the observation of the grass. Likewise "evolution accounts for the diversity and origin of lifeforms on this planet" is a fact because it is empirically observed. Evolution itself is observed.

To put it another way, there are those that believe in Aristotlean accidents and substance. The "substance" would be the fact and the accident would be the observations (or, in your case, vice versa). This is incompatible with Ockham's Razor because either one of these two things are unobservable and so either you believe everything is substance or accident.

Generally speaking, if you are a religious scientist, you believe it is all accident. If you are a philosophical naturalist you believe it is all substance. Either way the only "fact" is that which is observed and evolution, beind observed is either accident or substance and therefore fact in the empirical scientific sense.

Further, you go on to criticize a perceived "religious" bent for those who claim evolution to be a fact. This is also incorrect. The religious bent of scientism of the 19th century did indeed attempt to recast the world in terms of a religion based on science. However, this movement is for the most part dead. There is a consensus in the scientific community today that there are empirical facts and observations and descriptions of said things -- and nothing more. This is not a religious sentiment because the religious conceit relies on the existence of something more by definition. In other words, the definition of religion is one that relies on a truth which is necessarily "extra-scientific" in that it isn't based on empiricism. There is no way for science to evaluate a religious claim that is based extra-scientifically because the reality is the religious conceit can attack the very foundations of empiricism.

I think you conflate religion and the "fact" of evolution because of the certainty seemingly portrayed by the use of the term "fact". However, there is no such thing as "certainty" in the inductive sciences. All that can be said is that there is such a thing as empirical observation. Whether this observation indicates anything substantive (or accidental) cannot be determined by science. Solipsism is always a resort that cannot be disproven, nor can it be eliminated via Ockham's Razor because of the so-called "insanity" paradox (that being an insane person can invent a system that is internally rational to him or her, but is divorced from reality. Therefore there is no reason to assume that a rational system that is developed, no matter how simple, is necessarily correct.) When scientists talk about a "fact", they are talking about an empirically observed phenomenon. Evolution is an empirically observed phenomenon in that it is mechanistically, case-by-case, and phenomenologically observed. If you object to it being called a fact, then there can be no facts per se in science. This is okay for you to do, but it isn't the definition of "fact" used in the empirical world.

To take another example, it would be impossible to call "gravity" a fact. One could point to any observation and claim that gravity is the "cause" for the fact rather than the fact itself. However, this isn't the way physicists refer to gravity at all. Rather, gravity is the collection of observations and models that describe said observations that allow for physical predictions. Gravity is a "fact" because it is observed. Likewise with evolution.

Joshuaschroeder 23:14, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Observed instances of speciation[edit]

I would refer you to this page where many instances of speciation (that is reproductive isolation) are recounted. My favorite one is a species of Lab Rat Worm that evolved to the point where it could no longer reproduce with other Lab Rat worms which were the same species 20 years previous. Of course, most "serious" creationists recognize that speciation (and so-called "microevolution") occurs, what they object to is long-term and large scale evolution (so-called "macroevolution"). The problem here is that there is substantively nothing different between macroevolution and microevolution except for the scales involved. Thus, to claim that evolution is not a fact is really a claim that macroevolution is not a fact, which is a basic denial of universality once again.

To extend the analogy of gravity further, it would be like someone accepting the Eötvös experiment you listed on my talkpage as evidence for "microgravity", but rejecting "gravity" (or "macrogravity", if you will) as the reason for orbits because they disbelieve those scales (both in time and space). One would then easily be able to argue against gravity's "fact" in the same way you argue on your Userpage. Of course, as I described above, this is fundamentally opposed to the conceit of science as it stands, so is left to be a wholly extra-scientific objection. What's left is the point that if gravity exists and is a fact then evolution must also exit and be a fact by direct analogy.

Joshuaschroeder 18:54, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Universality vs. uniformitarianism[edit]

In actual point of fact, I am referring to the universality of physical laws as a generalized extension of uniformitarianism. The linked wikipedia article doesn't due justice to true universality, it's on my to-do list.

If physics is different in the past than it is today then it is truly the case that there can be no consistent model for science at all. However, we can and do test this assumption in a variety of ways -- the most basic of which is by looking into space and seeing that physics works the same way when the universe was younger than it is today.

To claim it is difficult to see why physical processes that occured in the past are the same as physical processes that occur today is tantamount to saying that it is impossible to do science with any predictive sense. Creationists would therefore be hardpressed to define anything as a "fact" at all, except for those "facts" they took on faith. This is a worldview that cannot be debunked by any scientific explanation, but it isn't the type of argument leveled by creationists. Rather, it is claimed ultimately by creationists that the explanations provided by science are themselves inherently incorrect for reasons related to selective incredulity, triumphalist assurance, and poisoning the well.

So, to come back to the analogy, why should the creationist believe that gravity existed before they were born? If there is no universality of physical laws to imply that observed mechanisms today acting in the past account for the state of the universe today, what replaces this? How can such a replacement be used to define "fact" independent of empiricism?

In other words, how can we say it is wrong to call evolution a "fact" if there exists no "facts" at all?

Joshuaschroeder 22:33, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Treating evolution as a "fact"[edit]

Is there anything wrong with you and me treating evolution as a "fact"? Nope--as long as you and I are willing to adjust our certain "facts" to conform to the new findings of empirical observations. 8)) But it is best that you and I not talk about "evolution as fact" to the creationists--because they have enough intelligence to distinguish between "facts" and the "conclusions" derived from the "facts." Our difficult job is to get the creationists to deal with reality. And using the phrase "evolution is fact" clutters the intellectual landscape by being wrong, wrong, wrong. The creationists are willing to deal with the "facts," and the "facts" are exactly what would be admissible in any court of law--the testimonial accounts of what happened. Is a fossil or a genome a testimonial account of what happened? Yes. A fossil or a genome would be "facts"--but neither a fossil nor a genome is evolution. Evolution is the "cause" for the "facts."
Wow! You are an insightful guy, Red. Hats off to you. Someday you and I ought to have a good discussion about this. But I fear I may not be much of a creationist, despite my burning spiritual reality. Heaven, yes. Spirit, yes. Eternity, yes. Creation, what do you mean when you say that? It's a loaded word. Tom Haws 06:44, Mar 15, 2005 (UTC)

I disagree heartily that the statement "evolution is fact" is "wrong wrong wrong". It isn't wrong, it's just model-dependent just like any other "fact" you come across.

I need to keep refering back to gravity because I think to be consistent you would have to conclude that the statement "gravity is a fact" would also have to be "wrong wrong wrong" in your formulation of "fact" as above. If you can find me a creationist who will agree that by the criteria for claiming that evolution is not a "fact", gravity is also not a "fact", then I will concede the point. But creationists are fond of selectively culling certain parts of science they find controversial when real "criticism" is leveled against science in general not on, for example, evolution in particular.

If creationists would just accept that these arguments that you outline are applicable to any scientific model be it atomic physics, chemical principles, gravity, electromagnetism, physiology, etc. then they would at least be honest. Right now they (and somehow have convinced you to as well) tread on shaky groud of selectively choosing certain criteria for parts of science and other criteria for other parts of science.

To wit, would the theory of gravity stand up to a cross-examination in a court room? Did OJ Simpson make an effective defense that DNA-evidence has "reasonable doubt"? A court room should not (and cannot) be the arbiter of scientific fact -- it is not an arbiter of fact at all but rather of "opinion" (in the eyes of the law, of course). Science, however, uses empiricism to define fact and if you object to "fact" per se being used in this context you should also object to fact being used in science at all -- with regards to any model, theory, or explanation of phenomenon.

In other words, the kinetic theory of gases isn't a fact, the atmoic theory isn't a fact, energy conservation isn't a fact, and the laws of thermodynamics are not facts. These are all, rather "conclusions" drawn from facts, if I understand what you are proposing.

Joshuaschroeder 01:29, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Evolution vs. gravity vs. fact[edit]

It seems to me that gravity would be quite easy to introduce as "fact" into a courtroom. For example, you might ask me to testify what I had seen in the Torsion bar experiment.

Ah, but here you see the problem. While the Torsion bar illustrates an expected effect due to gravity, gravity is the cause of this fact, not the fact itself. That's why "gravity" per se cannot be a fact in your formulation.

What could I introduce as "fact" about evolution? You could get my friend to testify to what he has seen in the progressive mutations of skin cells in creating a cancer colony--together with progressive "genomes" of the mutating "species." The trouble with that series of "facts" is that there is no indication of increasing capability.

Well, so we understand that mutation, speciation, and variation exist.

Now you have brought up increasing capability. But that's not a criteria for evolution. It's a criteria that creationists claim is demanded by evolution, but they haven't been able to even define what "capability" (or its derivatives of specified complexity, genetic information, etc.) is let alone how to tell whether it is increasing due to any process, evolution or not. The only thing that evolution describes the development of life as it proceeds along the lines of natural selection of mutations.

Similarly, gravity describes energy density as the source term for the curvature of space. One might claim that long range or long term effects of this are ultimately inadmissable to a courtroom, thus the "fact" of gravity would be in contention just as much as evolution.

What I mean by "evolution" is the 5 million year process by which the ancestors of the chimpanzees would speciate into the three different species--modern chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans. What I mean by "evolution" is the development of increasing capability to deal with the environmental niche.

One could counter that, "What I mean by gravity is the process by which galaxies, stars, and planets are formed and evolve. What I mean by gravity is the governing force that causes the evolution of large scale structure in the universe." This is seemingly just as controversial as the above, or do you disagree?

I could introduce lots of "facts" that make "evolution" a plausible "cause" for the "facts." But I could not introduce evolution as a "fact" into the courtroom--because what every available witness has seen is "facts" that strongly indicate that humans descended from the ancestors of the chimpanzees; no one has seen it happen.

But likewise, no one has personally witnessed the birth of a star, the formation of a galaxy, or the curvature of space. Does this mean that no one has seen gravity? They can look at your torsion bar experiment all day long, but this is merely a case of "microgravity" (ala "microevolution"). We would need to reformulate all of science along the lines of claiming that only microprosses are facts and their descriptions should be kept as "possible" causes. This is fine, but it is not the way scientists talk about science and it is also not the way creationists talk about science they think is non-controversial.

All I'm saying is that in order to be consistent with this, we'd have to throw out an entire vocabulary and syntax that is used to describe scientific empiricism simply because there seems to be controversy over the denotations of specific words. Does this make sense?

However, I argue at this stage, that just because the atomic bomb was not a "fact" when Einstein told Roosevelt about it does not lessen the impact; the "facts" strongly indicated that there was a tremendous atomic energy "cause" for the "facts" from Enrico Fermi's experiments. And the real question is "Where will you place your bets?"

I understand that you think the emphasis is incorrectly placed when scientists refer to framework arguments as facts, but I fail to see what harm it does since there isn't a consistent alternative being offered (except, if you will accept my idea that facts don't exist at all and everything is up to interpretation).

Joshuaschroeder 00:11, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

File:FootprintsFossilized.jpg
Working link . . . . Fossilized footprints from 3.6 million years ago of a human-like adult and child; perhaps they were Australopithecus afarensis.

These footprints were made in volcanic ash that hardened; then more layers of ash fell over the footprints. Erosion eventually brought the hardened traces of the footprints to the surface where they were found by Mary Leakey and her coworkers. Of these footprints, Mary Leakey said, "At one point, and you need not be an expert tracker to discern this, she stops, pauses, turns to the left to glance at some possible threat or irregularity, and then continues to the north. This motion, so intensely human, transcends time. Three million six hundred thousand years ago, a remote ancestor--just as you or I--experienced a moment of doubt."